Photography by Gold & Goose
MONTEREY, CA, JULY 13 – Tom Sykes should have a nice little summer break, the Brit having stretched his World Superbike Championship points lead to 44 after winning a twice red-flagged second race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Sykes ended up beating his championship rival Sylvain Guintoli in the final seven-lap sprint, the Kawasaki rider taking over the lead when Aprilia’s Marco Melandri crashed out of the lead in turn 11 – right in front of him. From there Sykes held off Guintoli, beating him to the flag by a tick over a second for his eight win of the year, with Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea gaining the most with the race stoppage by putting the CBR1000RR up to third in the shortened race after working his way past Red Devils Roma Aprilia’s Toni Elias with two laps to go.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty was also able to work his way past Elias, following Rea’s lead a lap later to secure fourth. Elias ended up holding on to fifth, some three seconds clear of a battle between Sykes’ Kawasaki teammate Loris Baz and Rea’s Honda teammate Leon Haslam.
David Salom ended up eighth on his EVO class Kawasaki, besting Team Pedercini Kawasaki EVO’s Alessandro Andreozzi. Leon Camier made his MV Agusta debut a successful one with a 10th place finish in the race that featured high attrition.
Larry Pegram was the top American finisher in the race, the Ohioan scoring two points (the first in World Superbike for EBR) for 14th place on his Pegram Racing EBR.
The first red flag came out when Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes crashed in the Corkscrew, the Brit running into the back of Baz who somehow managed not to also crash.
The second red flag came out just two laps into the restart when Sylvain Barrier crashed his EVO class BMW on the front straight, the S1000 ghost-riding into the pit-lane barrier. Barrier was transported, but is reportedly not seriously injured.
The race narrowly averted a third red flag when Ducati’s Davide Giugliano crashed in the Corkscrew and his bike ended up in the middle of the track. The pack somehow made it through and the Italian was able to retrieve his bike and ride it back to the pits.
Superbike Race Two
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia)
3. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
4. Eugene Laverty (Suzuki)
5. Toni Elias (Aprilia)
6. Loriz Baz (Kawasaki)
7. Leon Haslam (Honda)
8. David Salom (Kawasaki)
9. Alessandro Andreozzi (Kawasaki)
10. Leon Camier (MV Agusta)