Race Two from Laguna Seca saw an intense battle for honours with the Kawasaki and Ducati factory riders putting on a scintillating display of racecraft, with Tom Sykes eventually emerging victorious.
The initially race began well for Italian Davide Giugliano who, during the third lap, aggressively overtook Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes to move into the lead. The Roman looked bullish and fast and managed to pull away, leaving the group of Sykes, Rea and Davies a half second behind him. However, the lead was short-lived as the race was redflagged during the sixth lap due to Pawel Szkopek’s crash.
At the second start, Tom Sykes got off the line well, but again Giugliano managed to bustle his way past and claim the lead. Behind them local boy Nicky Hayden was looking strong on his Honda, but Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea looked menacing and moved into third place after overtaking the “Kentucky Kid”.
The race sprung into life on Lap Four, with both Kawasaki riders making a spectacular move on the Corkscrew to overtake Giugliano – Sykes was now the new race leader, but Rea was extremely close and in the fifth lap he made his move for the lead.
The Ulsterman’s joy was premature however and Rea made a mistake and ended up in the sand. It was to prove a costly error – although he managed to get back on the track in tenth place, he stopped shortly afterwards and retired, his body language indicating a problem with his bike’s chain.
The second half of the race saw an intense battle between the second pack, and race one podium man Nicky Hayden was first overtaken first by flying Chaz Davies and then by Xavi Forés.
In the final laps, Giugliano began to hunt down Sykes in earnest, with Davies rapidly closing in on the pair, all three circulating within just seven tenths of each other.
At the start of the eighteenth lap, Davies upped the ante and managed to overtake Giugliano temporarily, but at the Corkscrew the Italian took the place back. In the nineteenth lap, the three riders were within a gap of four tenths and it was a heart-stopping finale with the Ducatis battling it out down to the last corner and Giugliano keeping Sykes in his sights right down to the end.
Race 2 standings:
1) Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)
2) Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
3) Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
4) Xavi Forés (Barni Racing Team)
5) Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team)
6) Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team)
7) Michael van der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team)
8) Niccolò Canepa (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
9) Anthony West (Pedercini Racing)
10) Román Ramos (Team GoEleven)