MONTEREY, Calif. – Tom Sykes claimed World Superbike race one at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday, which was eventually contested over 12 laps rather than the scheduled 26 due to two red flags caused by the crashes by Danny Eslick and then by his team mate Roger Hayden.
Sykes took the lead on the tenth lap thanks to an outstanding overtaking move at turn 11 after a side-by-side downhill ride with Chaz Davies. The Championship leader then rode comfortably to win the race, while Marco Melandri lost some ground after trying to pass his team mate Davies at turn five and then, on the final lap, lost third place courtesy of a superb pass by Eugene Laverty at the “Corkscrew.”
Laverty’s team mate Sylvain Guintoli ended up fifth, a frustrating result for the Frenchman who was comfortably in the lead in each of the two interrupted races. Davide Giugliano claimed sixth place ahead of Jules Cluzel, Toni Elias, Ayrton Badovini and Mark Aitchison.
Potential podium contender Niccolò Canepa (Team Ducati Alstare) and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) could not line-up for the final restart of the race after crashing out in the second part. Both are uninjured as are Eslick and Hayden, who should line up on the grid for tomorrow’s second outing.