WSBK - Laguna Seca 2016

The Great American Revival?

Laguna Seca is one of the world's most spectacular circuits, but it is also set in the heartland of the American biking culture. California is consistently the biggest market for bike sales in America, and it was just down the road from the circuit in Hollister that the “outlaw biking” community was born almost 50 years ago. What happens in California has always resonated with the rest of the US and the events there have a deep impact on the rest of the nation. That's why last weekend's WorldSBK Round could be so important for the future of American racing - both WorldSBK races were exciting affairs with great fights for the win, and the crowd were left enthralled by the excitement of the event.

Race 1 saw Jonathan Rea take his first win at the US venue, as the reigning Champion fought off teammate Tom Sykes to earn the victory in style. With a bike on which he feels increasingly comfortable, the victory was an important one in the title fight – Laguna Seca being the first of a spate of tracks on the calendar on which Rea had never won. Favourite Chaz Davies – who did the double last year – suffered a front end crash in Race 1 as the Welshman continued a run of more difficult Rounds, but Sunday saw redemption as the Ducati rider dueled with his teammate and both Aruba.it riders were on the podium. Sykes’ Sunday improved his weekend, too – the KRT rider took the win from the Ducati duo, and gained a big chunk of points back in the title fight as his teammate was unable to finish.

All that is without mentioning Rea’s spectacular double-overtake down the Corkscrew, a reminder if any was needed of quite why Laguna Seca is such a legendary venue at the heart of American bike culture.

There was also big increase in spectator numbers at the US Round in 2016, almost 30% compared to 12 months ago, and while some of that increase will rightly be attributed to Nicky Hayden joining WorldSBK – and becoming a podium contender - the revival of the domestic Championship has also helped. Hayden, who took his first GP and AMA wins at the track, stood on the WorldSBK podium on Saturday to a rapturous reception - something even commented on by winner Jonathan Rea, who noted the American passion – and then, like his fellow race fans at the track, the Kentucky Kid watched the fight for victory in MotoAmerica as the two Championships shared the weekend. With the series throwing up some home heroes of its own, the story of new American success does not ride solely with Nicky Hayden in World Superbike.

Laguna Seca, 9 July 2016, Superbike - Results race 1

1 1 J. REA GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R
2 66 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R
3 69 N. HAYDEN USA Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR
4 60 M. VAN DER MARK NED Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR
5 22 A. LOWES GBR Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Yamaha YZF R1
6 32 L. SAVADORI ITA IodaRacing Team Aprilia RSV4
7 12 X. FORÉS ESP Barni Racing Team Ducati Panigale
8 81 J. TORRES ESP Althea BMW Racing Team BMW S1000
9 15 A. DE ANGELIS RSM IodaRacing Team Aprilia RSV4
10 59 N. CANEPA ITA P Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Yamaha YZF R1

Laguna Seca, 10 July 2016, Superbike - Results race 2

1 66 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R
2 34 D. GIUGLIANO ITA Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Ducati Panigale
3 7 C. DAVIES GBR Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Ducati Panigale
4 12 X. FORÉS ESP Barni Racing Team Ducati Panigale
5 69 N. HAYDEN USA Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR
6 81 J. TORRES ESP Althea BMW Racing Team BMW S1000
7 60 M. VAN DER MARK NED Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR
8 59 N. CANEPA ITA Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Yamaha YZF R1
9 13 A. WEST AUS Pedercini Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R
10 40 R. RAMOS ESP Team GoEleven Kawasaki ZX-10R

Superbike - Drivers' standings

1 REA p.368
2 SYKES p.322
3 DAVIES p.260
4 GIUGLIANO p.185
5 VAN DER MARK p.185
6 HAYDEN p.173
7 TORRES p.155
8 CAMIER p.110
9 SAVADORI p.110
10 FORÉS p.97

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