WSBK USA: Rea dominates at Laguna to strengthen grip on WSBK title

A storming opening lap by Jonathan Rea spurs him on to his ninth WorldSBK win of 2017 as he takes a sizeable advantage into the summer break.

WSBK USA: Rea dominates at Laguna to strengthen grip on WSBK title

JONATHAN Rea will take a sizeable 59 point lead into the summer break as victory in the second World Superbike Championship race of the weekend at Laguna Seca saw him move ever closer to a third consecutive title. 

Having been forced to settle for second behind Chaz Davies in race one, Rea turned in a superlative performance on the Kawasaki ZX-10R by following team-mate Tom Sykes as they both hustled their way to the front of the field from their reverse grid positions by the end of the opening lap. 

From here Rea wasted no time in dispatching of Sykes for the lead on the lap two and he wasn't troubled again thereafter, the eventual 2.8secs margin as he backed off across the line to his team-mate betraying an otherwise dominant performance by the Ulsterman. 

Indeed, race one winner Davies might have had the pace to go with Rea but his route through the pack from his grid position would prove more troublesome, the Welshman taking until lap seven to clear Xavi Fores for third positon. 

Though he would go in pursuit of Sykes and close the margin, the former champion had the measure of his countryman to seal Kawasaki's fifth 1-2 of the year and consolidate his second place in the standings. 

Marco Melandri had a mistake early on for spoiling his chances of victory, the Italian fighting back to fourth place but finishing 17secs down on the lead. 

After his bright start, Fores brought the privateer Barni Ducati home in fifth place, ahead of Eugene Laverty, who secured his third top six finish in four races in sixth position, ahead of fellow RSV4 riders Leandro Mercado and Lorenzo Savadori. 

Alex Lowes won out in a tense battle with Yamaha team-mate Michael van der Mark to secure ninth and tenth respectively, while Stefan Bradl ended his weekend with another disappointing finish in 11th for Honda. 

Still, it was a double points' finish for the Red Bull backed team as Jake Gagne notched up a digit in 15th place, behind Roman Ramos, Alex de Angelis and Randy Krummenacher. 

Elsewhere there was disappointment for Althea BMW after Jordi Torres dropped his S1000RR whilst running sixth, his error coming just a lap on from a crash for his team-mate Raffaele de Rosa. Leon Camier was also a casualty, stopping with technical issues. 

2017 World Superbike Riders' Championship (After 16 races of 26)

1Jonathan ReaKawasaki Racing Team341
2Tom SykesKawasaki Racing Team282
3Chaz Racing Ducati226
4Marco Racing Ducati189
5Alex LowesPata Yamaha148
6Xavi ForesBarni Ducati132
7Michael van der MarkPata Yamaha129
8Leon CamierMV Agusta99
9Jordi TorresAlthea BMW94
10Eugene LavertyMilwaukee Aprilia89
11Roman RamosTeam Kawasaki Go Eleven73
12Leandro MercadoIodaRacing Aprilia66
13Stefan BradlRed Bull Honda64
14Lorenzo SavadoriMilwaukee Aprilia63
15Randy KrummenacherKawasaki Puccetti Racing46
16Nicky HaydenRed Bull Honda40
17Alex de AngelisPedercini Kawasaki32
18Raffaele De RosaAlthea BMW30
19Leon HaslamKawasaki Puccetti Racing20
20Markus ReiterbergerAlthea BMW19
21Ayrton BadoviniGrillini Racing Team Kawasaki14
22Ondrej JezekGrillini Racing Team Kawasaki12
23Riccardo RussoGuandalini Racing8
24Jake DixonRAF Reserves Kawasaki7
25Julian SimonMilwaukee Aprilia4
26Josh BrookesER Motorsport Yamaha4
27Jake GagneRed Bull Honda2

2017 World Superbike Manufacturers' Championship (After 16 races of 26)

1Kawasaki 375
2Ducati 309
3Yamaha 183
4BMW 117
5Aprilia 115
6MV Agusta 99
7Honda 81

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