The final race of the weekend for the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at Laguna Seca took place under predictably sunny skies, with Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) taking his first win of the season with a dominant lights-to-flag victory. His teammate, Alvaro Bautista, retired from the race with injury after crashing in the Tissot Superpole Race, meaning the gap extends between himself and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) at the head of the field.
Another lightening start from Chaz Davies from second on the grid meant the Welshman took the advantage at Turn 1 and held it at Turn 2. Racing into third place, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) made a brisk start whilst slotting in behind him, Tom Sykes aboard his BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team machine. Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was ahead of Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), whilst Jordi Torres Team Pedercini Racing) was up in eighth.
Jonathan Rea tried once to get ahead of Davies on Lap 2 on the entrance to Turn 5 but ran wide and allowed Davies to take the lead back. It would stay like this for the entire distance, with Jonathan Rea unable to match Chaz Davies, who was in a class of his own at the head of the field. Toprak Razgatlioglu was soon dropped but was lapping constantly quicker than those behind him, consolidating his podium pace.
After Lap 2, Alvaro Bautista’s injured shoulder proved too much, and the Spaniard’s luckless weekend came to a premature end when he retired. Two laps later, third in the championship Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was out with a technical problem. The battle for third place in the championship was now really on.
Battles were strewn throughout the field, with Alex Lowes mugging Sykes halfway through the race before clearing off into a safe fourth place, whilst Sykes and Haslam ran toe-to-toe for the remainder of the race, although it resulted in no change of order. Behind them, Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) had come through the order to get ahead of Jordi Torres. Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) was strong too, up to ninth from a poor starting position.
But back at the front, it was all about Chaz Davies as he pulled away from Rea and came home with a huge advantage to win his first race since Aragon Race 2 in 2018. Rea was up in second and extending his championship advantage to 81 points. Toprak Razgatlioglu was back on the rostrum yet again, consolidating his position as a real challenger for third overall in the championship. Alex Lowes and Tom Sykes completed the top five, whilst Leon Haslam was sixth.
Loris Baz held off a resurgent Jordi Torres to come home seventh, whilst Marco Melandri had to make do with ninth, whilst fellow countryman Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) was inside the top ten yet again in tenth position, just pipping Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) who finished 11th.
P1 – Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)
“This means so much to me. It’s been a tough season for me. We’ve been trying so many things and not just really finding my feet. This year has been so so tough for many different reasons, but I want to say thanks to my team because they’ve been behind me the whole way and nobody threw the towel, and they kept trying to get more and more comfortable and this is the result. To win here on the U.S. soil is so amazing. I think it’s my fourth win here and I love Laguna, I love America, I love California and bringing home the victory today is the best way to going into the Summer Break. I am really happy with that, and it is dedicated to all my team”.
P2 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“I am super satisfied with our weekend. We got two wins, a new lap record and also a second place! It is good for us. The team gave me a great bike and our ZX-10RR was working so good. We just made a small change between the Superpole Race and Race 2 that put my front in crisis a little bit, and I was struggling to finish the corner, but aside from that, I did the best I could so congratulation to Chaz and Ducati. I am looking forward to my Summer Break now”.
P3 – Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing)
“I am happy to be on the podium again. This morning the Tissot Superpole Race didn’t go well because after the red flag we didn’t change tyres, and we were able to finish just fourth. But for Race 2 I knew that my feeling with the bike was good. I tried to follow the front guys but I couldn’t keep their pace as again, after 10 laps, tyres dropped their performance. Anyway, I am pleased about this second podium, and I now am looking forward to starting my holidays”.
#USAWorldSBK at Laguna Seca: Race 2
1. Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +3.333
3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) +11.658