Jonathan Rea extended his lead in the 2018 Superbike World Championship to 75 points with a perfect double win at this weekend’s American round at the Laguna Seca raceway in California.
The Carole Nash-backed racer passed pole sitter Chaz Davies on lap seven of Saturday’s opening race and went on to take the win by almost three seconds, before working through the pack from ninth on Sunday’s reverse grid race – passing Eugene Laverty on lap eight of 25 to clear off and win by over five seconds.
He said: “I expected to be strong here but I had no idea how strong. Two weekends in a row now, Brno and here, we have been the reference and weekends like that do not happen all the time so we have to really absorb it and enjoy the moment. A double win at Laguna in the sunshine – it does not get much better. There are so many people out around the track. A massive thanks to all my crew, especially Pere because even though we won yesterday with a margin, last night he changed the bike completely and gave me some more confidence in the front. It worked a dream. It was one of those races where I could absorb what was happening, the crowd, the weather, where I was; it really was an incredible race.”
Both races saw Davies come home second, well clear of the battle for third but unable to challenge for the win. The Welshman likened racing Rea to ‘taking a knife to a gunfight’ adding “I feel we got the best out of myself and the package this weekend. We’re back at the sharp end after a couple of tough rounds. We’re not too far away from our main rivals, we just need to fine tune some details.”
Britain’s Alex Lowes took third on his resurgent Yamaha in Saturday’s race, with Laverty taking his first podium finish since 2014 on his Milwaukee Aprilia.
The next round of the series takes place at the the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli in two weeks’ time.