Round Nine – Laguna Seca
The 2019 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship title race took yet another twist and turn around the undulations of Laguna Seca overnight. In a dramatic opening few laps, Jonathan Rea led the Ducati pairing of Chaz Davies and Alvaro Bautista, before another unthinkable error blew the championship wide open once again.
Laguna Seca Race One Report
Jonathan Rea started strongly to hold the early advantage from Bautista and Davies. Toprak Razgatlioglu also made a blistering start and was fourth by Turn 5 after shuffling Tom Sykes back to fifth. Into the penultimate corner on the opening lap, Davies got ahead of Bautista and went in pursuit of Jonathan Rea.
New lap records came thick and fast, with Davies initially setting a new marker on Lap 2 before his team-mate bettered on Lap 3, becoming the first rider to set a 1m22s lap in race trim. One lap later and it was a disaster for Leon Haslam as the British rider hit the deck at the Corkscrew.
At the beginning of Lap 5, Davies challenged Rea and through Turns 1 and 2 and the Welshman took the lead but ran wide, with Rea slicing back through and sitting the Ducati rider up.
Alvaro Bautista was right in the mix and beginning to get into the swing of things but then tucked the front at Turn 5 and his Ducati Panigale V4 R was in the gravel once again.
With Bautista re-joining but out of the leading group, Jonathan Rea edged clear of Chaz Davies, with the top two stabilising until the end of the race, with Rea gradually extending his race lead out to five seconds. Toprak Razgatlioglu fought off a late charge from Tom Sykes to secure the final step on the rostrum.
Battles were being waged all the way through the field. Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) pipping Jordi Torres for fifth in the final few laps. Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) put in a strong ride to seventh from 15th on the grid, getting ahead of Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) late in the race.
An eighth win of 2019 for Jonathan Rea, who romped home ahead of Davies and Razgatlioglu.
Tom Sykes was fourth ahead of Alex Lowes, whilst Jordi Torres took his best result of the season in sixth. Van der Mark and Baz were next up in seventh and eighth, whilst Marco Melandri and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) completed the top ten.
The championship advantage now increases for Rea, with a 49-point lead over rival Alvaro Bautista.
P1 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“I want to thank all my crew, they gave me such a good bike here, and I felt good. Physically I was just heading my points and I could have ridden the bike all day long because I was having so much fun. The tyre dropped a little towards the end, but I had the job done. As soon as I snapped the cord, I was able to focus on myself and hit the point. It is a massive privilege to be here in the U.S., racing here under the sun, and I love this track, so let’s see tomorrow if we can try to repeat this performance, but it is going to be tough for sure”.
P2 – Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)
“We had a testing few rounds with a lot of difficulties, so it’s great to be back in parc fermé again. I missed this place! It was a tough race actually. I chose the soft rear tyre, which maybe wasn’t the best move, but it was a risk I wanted to take since I don’t have a lot to lose. So, I thought that I’d try to go away and try to use that tyre to the best effect in the early laps, but in the end, Johnny was in front, and I couldn’t see a way around. Then my tyre dropped, and I only had to try staying a little bit more constant. Nother than less, it was a good effort compared to the last few races, and I am really happy to be up here again”.
P3 – Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing)
“I am extremely pleased with this result today. Last year I suffered a big crash here, and this year we are on the podium! I knew that today getting on the rostrum would not be easy to achieve, but we took advantage of Bautista’s mistake. I tried to follow Johnny and Chaz then, but my bike was moving and sliding a lot. Maybe for tomorrow, we will make some changes to the bike setup to improve the tyre consumption, but for today I am really happy”.
|1||J. Rea||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||0.000|
|2||C. Davies||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+5.693|
|3||T. Razgatlioglu||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+12.721|
|4||T. Sykes||BMW S1000 RR||+14.957|
|5||A. Lowes||Yamaha YZF R1||+20.621|
|6||J. Torres||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+23.087|
|7||M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha YZF R1||+26.491|
|8||L. Baz||Yamaha YZF R1||+30.605|
|9||M. Melandri||Yamaha YZF R1||+32.556|
|10||M. Rinaldi||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+44.432|
|11||E. Laverty||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+46.792|
|12||L. Mercado||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+47.091|
|13||A. Delbianco||Honda CBR1000RR||+51.830|
|14||S. Cortese||Yamaha YZF R1||+53.661|
|15||M. Reiterberger||BMW S1000 RR||+100.235|
|16||R. Kiyonari||Honda CBR1000RR||+110.076|
|17||A. Bautista||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+1 Lap|
|RET||J. Beach||Yamaha YZF R1||13 Laps|
|RET||L. Haslam||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||22 Laps|
|1||J. Rea||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m21.876|
|2||C. Davies||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1’m21.885|
|3||A. Bautista||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m22.048|
|4||T. Sykes||BMW S1000 RR||1m22.444|
|5||L. Haslam||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m22.449|
|6||J. Torres||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m22.743|
|7||T. Razgatlioglu||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m22.875|
|8||A. Lowes||Yamaha YZF R1||1m23.076|
|9||L. Baz||Yamaha YZF R1||1m23.185|
|10||E. Laverty||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m23.232|
|11||M. Reiterberger||BMW S1000 RR||1m23.454|
|12||L. Mercado||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1m23.519|
|13||S. Cortese||Yamaha YZF R1||1m23.562|
|14||M. Rinaldi||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1m23.740|
|15||M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha YZF R1||1m23.904|
|16||J. Beach||Yamaha YZF R1||1m24.152|
|17||M. Melandri||Yamaha YZF R1||1m24.478|
|18||A. Delbianco||Honda CBR1000RR||1m24.479|
|19||R. Kiyonari||Honda CBR1000RR||1m24.701|
|3||Michael Van Der Mark||215|
|12||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||91|