Welsh motorcycle racer, Chaz Davies, has made history at California’s Laguna Seca by taking the first double world superbike win for the Panigale and with it, wins number 11 and 12 of the 2015 season for the Italian manufacturer, Ducati. For Davies it was an almost perfect weekend with the Brit taking pole position on his number 7 Ducati Pangiale, both race wins and the fastest lap in the day’s earlier race.
“I’m really, really happy with these results, and we’ve definitely seen the fruits of our labour here,” said 28 year old Davies post race. “The track here perhaps limits our weak points and plays to our strengths, and we were able to put together two really good races that went almost exactly to plan. I didn’t think we’d be able to lap in 1.23s but I was able to make some really quick first laps in Race 1, pushing hard for the first twelve or so and then it was all about gap management.
“We made a few small tweaks for race 2 and I think those changes were useful. I took a lot of risks with the rain, and was very worried about crashing but luckily the rain stopped and things went smoothly from there to the finish line. I thank my entire team, Ducati and our sponsors – it’s been a really solid weekend, and a lot better than last year’s outcome of course.”
Chaz Davies – Ducati Panigale
Race 1 1st – Race 2 1st
Davies was the 2011 world supersport champion before moving to world superbike in 2012. He joined Ducati in 2014 with this year proving his most successful in the class with 12 podiums from 17 races, and three wins – the two at Laguna Seca this weekend, to add to an earlier season victory at Aragon.
Race One Report: Davies And Ducati Never Headed In Opening US Race
Chaz Davies won the opening race of the day at Laguna Seca after a lights to flag display saw the British rider take the win by 1.798s.
After several days of blazing California sun, raceday at Laguna Seca for the GEICO US round, the 9th of the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship season dawned with thunder and rain greeting the WorldSBK riders.
A wet warm-up saw the riders take to the track for the first time with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) fastest in the tricky conditions but thankfully by the time race 1 was scheduled to start the sun was shining and the track had dried.
Davies made the perfect start, taking the hole shot before opening up a 1.6s lead at the end of lap 5. Despite the Kawasaki pairing of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea giving chase they were unable to reel in the Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider who romped to the victory, his 6th WorldSBK win and the 2nd for the Panigale machine.
At the flag and after a tense, race long duel 2nd and 3rd went to Sykes and Rea, the pair pushing each other to the limit throughout.
Davide Giugiano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team) finished a lonely 4th after regrouping from a poor start, the Italian who started on the front row eventually getting the better of Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) who rode a solid race to 5th.
Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) inherited 6th after Leon Haslam slid out of contention, while reigning champion Sylvain Guintoli powered the Pata Honda to 7th ahead of his team mate and reigning World Supersport champion Michael van der Mark.
Leandro Mercado impressed to 9th aboard the Barni Racing Ducati, the Argentine rider recovering from a huge crash earlier in the weekend.
10th place after 25 enthralling laps went to Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), with Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven) completing the top 12.
Leon Haslam scored 3 points for 13th after nursing the Aprilia to the finish after rejoining ahead of the youngest rider in the field Christophe Ponsson (Team Pedercini) who was 14th.
Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing) scored his first WorldSBK with a 15th place finish.
Althea Racing had a difficult race with Niccolo Canepa suffering a technical problem at turn two on the opening lap. His team mate Matteo Baiocco had an incident at the start before crashing half way around the opening lap at the corkscrew.
Race one results: 1. Chaz Davies – Ducati 2. Tom Sykes – Kawasaki 3. Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki
Race Two Report:
Once again leading from the start Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team) tried to make the break, but unlike race 1 he was closely followed in the early stages by the Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, with Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) running strongly in 4th.
Behind Davies by 1.406s at the flag was Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, the podium in race 2 being a carbon copy of the first encounter.
Aprilia Racing riders Jordi Torres and Leon Haslam were 4th and 5th respectively after a 25 lap duel. They finished comfortably ahead of Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) who had a lonely ride to 6th after failing to finish race 1.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) got the better of Niccolo Canepa (Althea Racing) in their personal on track fight for 7th with Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing) once again 9th ahead of Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).
The remaining point scorers were Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven), Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing), Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing) and Christophe Ponsson (Team Pedercini).
Drops of rain began to fall at the start of lap 2 claiming Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team) and reigning champion Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), the pair crashing out with Giugliano taken to the medical centre for checks. Guintoli made it back to the garage.
The next round of the eni FIM Superbike World takes place in Sepang, Malaysia (rd 10) in two weeks.
Race Two results: 1. Chaz Davies – Ducati 2. Tom Sykes – Kawasaki 3. Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki
WSBK Championship Leader Board
1. Jonathan Rea – 407 points (Kawasaki) 2. Tom Sykes – 282 points (Kawasaki) 3. Chaz Davies – 263 points (Ducati) 4. Leon Haslam – 240 points (Aprilia) 5. Jordi Torres – 164 points (Aprilia) 6. Davide Guintoli – 136 points (Honda)
No World Supersport racing in Laguna Seca
Next round – Sepang, Malaysia – August 2