World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea inched closer to a fourth consecutive title thanks to his second double victory of the season under the Californian sun and around the drops and climbs of Laguna Seca.
The series moved to the stunning but scratchy circuit closed to Monterrey for the eighth round of thirteen and Rea tightened the screws with a superb performance on Saturday and Sunday to increase his lead in the standings to 75 points (3 races with just 10 left to go) over Chaz Davies.
In Race 1 the Kawasaki man bested Ducati-mounted Davies with Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes following up his maiden Superbike victory in Czech Republic two weeks previously with another podium finish. Race 2 again belonged to Rea after his battled through his inverted grid position to pass Eugene Laverty. Lowes fought through to fourth place. Tom Sykes struggled with race set-up around the quick layout and could only ride to a 7-8.
“An incredible weekend. I expected to be strong here but I had no idea how strong. Two weekends in a row now, Brno and here, we have been the reference,” said Rea, who maintained Kawasaki’s run of podium presence at Laguna since 2014 and also extended his unbeaten run to 3 races after having owned the second sprint last summer. “Weekends like that do not happen all the time so we have to really absorb it and enjoy the moment. A double win at Laguna in the sunshine - it does not get much better. There are so many people out around the track. A massive thanks to all my crew, especially Pere [Riba, Crew Chief] because even though we won yesterday with a margin, last night he changed the bike completely and gave me some more confidence in the front. It worked a dream. It was one of those races where I could absorb what was happening, the crowd, the weather, where I was; it really was an incredible race.”
“A third and a fourth is a good job and I look forward to trying to close the gap to Johnny and Kawasaki in the next race!" commented Lowes.
WorldSBK flies back to Europe and for round nine at Misano in two weeks time. The Italian fixture will be the last date before the long summer break and before resumption of the calendar with trips to Portugal, France, Argentina and Qatar.