MONTEREY, Calif. – Jonathan Rea emerged victorious in Saturday’s World Superbike event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The victory, combined with a crash by his championship rival Alvaro Bautista, allowed Rea to extend his championship advantage to 49 points over Bautista.
Rea got the best start off the line, with the Ducati duo of Bautista and Chaz Davies giving pursuit. Behind them was Toprak Razgatlioglu, who got a blistering start to move into fourth by turn five ahead of Tom Sykes in fifth.
New lap records came quickly, with Davies setting the record first before Bautista eclipsed him on the third lap. On the fourth circuit Rea’s teammate, Leon Haslam, went down in the Corkscrew.
On lap five Davies challenged Rea in the first two corners, but Davies ran wide after taking the lead and allowed Rea to regain the lead. Bautista remained in pursuit of the front duo, but he soon went down in turn five as Rea and Davies continued on at the front.
With Bautista out of the mix, Rea expanded his lead to roughly five seconds with Davies running a lonely second. In the end Rea easily crossed the line in first to grow his championship lead.
Razgatlioglu ended the day third, with Sykes finishing fourth and Alex Lowes coming home fifth after a late-race battle with Jordi Torres. Michael van der Mark, Loris Baz, Marco Melandri and Michael Ruben Rinaldi completed the top-10.