Jonny Rea claimed a double win at laguna Seca, one again showing the rest of the field that he his the benchmark by which all other riders are judged.
After qualifying third fastest in Superpole on Saturday morning, Rea spent the early laps right behind eventual race one second place rider Chaz Davies on the factory Ducati, before pouncing to lead on lap seven; Davies ran wide at the entrance to the famous Corkscrew chicane and Rea instantly took his opportunity on the inside line.
Rea built his lead from then on to ease out to an eventual clear advantage of 2.978 seconds after 25 intense laps, on a tricky track surface that rose to over 50°C under the hottest conditions of the weekend so far.
Speaking after the race, Rea said: “In the early laps I felt good behind Chaz, although his pace was really fast. I knew as soon as he made that mistake I wanted to go through, set my rhythm, and tenth-by-tenth slowly build up a lead.
“It was not easy, much more difficult than I expected. The front grip was dropping quite a lot at the end so I just had to ride accordingly. We have not had that issue all weekend but the temperature change today, that extra ten degrees on the track, was massive. We learned some things from the race today to be a little bit stronger tomorrow.”
Race Two saw Rea start from the third row, under the reverse grid rules for race two at each event.
Rea had got up to fifth on lap one and then into the lead by lap eight at the intense 3.610km long hillside circuit. He went unchallenged to claim his eighth victory of the season, giving him a 50% winning record for the season so far. It was also the Ulsterman’s 25 career WorldSBK podiums today.
In winning for a fourth time in his career at Laguna Seca, Rea extended his championship lead to 75 points over runner-up in race two, Chaz Davies.
Rea, said: “An incredible weekend. 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. 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.
“I am so so so happy, to have a weekend like we’ve had – to be so strong. It doesn’t happen every weekend, this weekend – aside from my tip off on Friday – its been plain sailing. I was able to make my passes, make them stick and go away.
“Laverty had a really good pace and was a really good marker. I was in no urgency to arrive and then step by step I got there, and then made my rhythm. It was awesome to see my rhythm increasing, and then just five or six laps to go I was absorbing the feeling in Laguna Seca in the sunshine I just felt so blessed to be here and it’s a cool moment.”