At the GEICO US Round on Saturday afternoon in sunny conditions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) recorded a superb win as he returned from his Misano injuries in style, whilst Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) were also on the podium.
The leading three could not be caught by the rest of the field as they charged away at the head of the race over the opening laps, with Davies and Rea pulling away from pole man Sykes in the final third of the race. With Rea right on his tail Davies held his nerve over the last few laps to notch a superb Race 1 win as he put his back and thumb injuries from Round 7 firmly behind him.
Davies celebrated the win by holding up a number 69 flag in tribute to the late Nicky Hayden, following the tragic recent passing of the Kentucky Kid.
The Ducati rider’s final winning margin over Rea was 1.2s, with Sykes a further +4.596s behind his Northern Irish colleague in third place.
It was World Champion Jonathan Rea who took the victory, with Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies also on the podium in Race 2 on Sunday afternoon.
Rea came from eighth on the grid to take a dominant win over the rest of the field with the KRT man beating his nearest challenger – teammate Sykes – by 2.887s, to open up a 59-point advantage at the head of the standings going into the summer break. It is the Northern Irishman’s second win at the American venue and he dedicated the victory to the late Nicky Hayden.
Davies did his best to pursue Sykes for second place over the final laps but just could not catch the Yorkshireman and had to settle for third, following his comeback win in Race 1.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) and Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) completed the top five in the hot conditions at the spectacular Californian track.
After the summer break the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship riders will return to action at the Prosecco DOC German Round over the 18th-20th August weekend.