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Old 07-20-2015, 02:32 AM   #1
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World Superbike Laguna Seca: Davies does the double

Chaz Davies' last double in WSBK dates back to 2013 (in Aragon), Ducati's to 2012 (in Imola with Carlos Checa), but both ended the drought in Laguna Seca in dominant fashion, leading from flag to flag after starting from pole position and preceding the seemingly invulnerable factory Kawasakis.

“Today's result almost, but not entirely, cancels the disappointment from last year,” said Davies, recounting his 2014 debacle (he crashed out in Race One and was then declared unfit to participate in the second). “Compared with my first double, this was cleaner. I knew this track would hide some of our limitations but, despite all the hard work, we're still on the back foot compared with the Kawasakis.”

To this end, the gap with championship leader Jonathan Rea—144 points—is arguably impossible to bridge with only eight races to go and Davies, who is strongly tipped to renew his contract with Ducati, appears more focused on next season. “I'm happy with Ducati and hopefully I will stay here,” he said. “People kept saying we were theoretically advantaged throughout the pre-season, but results show it's not true. I trust the engineers and the staff, but I want to see a big step forward with development. That's the key for me. I don't think this double is crucial to secure the deal, I've worked hard and had consistent results before this weekend.”

In both races, the Welshman got the holeshot and quickly built a gap on Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, twice second and third respectively, who matched his pace only in the second half of the race. “I took some risks but it paid off,” Davies observed. “It was crucial to have a clean track ahead, as it's really difficult to pass here and the Panigale requires you to do different lines, more rounded, to enter the corner as fast as possible.”

The Kawasaki pair, on the other hand, enjoyed a heated battle, after which Sykes emerged victorious twice, recovering eight points on his teammate. “The first laps in both races turned out to be the decisive factor,” the Brit observed. “Chaz pulled away and I couldn't catch him back. But, I had fun battling with Johnny and beating him twice. My board kept showing '+0', so it wasn't easy to manage the situation. In Sepang, I will definitely try to do the same and keep the title fight open for as long as possible.”

“I made too many mistakes,” added Rea, who still enjoys a 125-point lead thanks to an open streak of 18 consecutive podiums (11 wins). “I went wide at Turn 2 on a few occasions and maybe was a bit too cautious while trying to pass Tom, but two third places are better than a zero. If this is the worst weekend of my season (in terms of points collected), I honestly can't be disappointed. We're one race closer to the end, and to think of finishing first or second all season long would have been unrealistic.”

Unless Rea gains 25 or more points on his teammate in two weeks' time in Sepang, the title won't be assigned before the summer break. On his path, in Malaysia, the Ulsterman will surely find a fired-up Sykes, two increasingly more competitive Ducatis—even though the Asian track does not favor the twin-cylinder theoretically—and a couple of Aprilias looking for revenge. Oh wait, there will be an extra RSV4, ridden by Max Biaggi, but that is a different story...

World Superbike Laguna Seca Race One results:
1. Chaz Davies (GBR) Aruba.it Ducati
2. Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki Racing
3. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki Racing
4. Davide Giugliano (ITA) Aruba.it Ducati
5. Jordi Torres (SPA) Aprilia Racing/Red Devils
6. Alex Lowes (GBR) Voltcom Crescent Suzuki
7. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Pata Honda
8. Michael Van der Mark (NET) Pata Honda
9. Leandro Mercado (ARG) Barni Racing Ducati
10. Leon Camier (GBR) MV Agusta
11. Randy De Puniet (FRA) Voltcom Crescent Suzuki
12. Román Ramos (SPA) Team Go Eleven Kawasaki
13. Leon Haslam (GBR) Aprilia Racing/Red Devils
14. Christophe Ponsson (FRA) Team Pedercini Kawasaki
15. Gianluca Vizziello (ITA) Grillini SBK Kawasaki
16. Imre Toth (HUN) BMW Team Toth
DNF David Salom (SPA) Team Pedercini Kawasaki
DNF Santiago Barragán (SPA) Grillini SBK Kawasaki
DNF Gábor Rizmayer (HUN) BMW Team Toth
DNF Ayrton Badovini (ITA) BMW Motorrad Italia
DNF Matteo Baiocco (ITA) Althea Racing Ducati
DNF Niccolò Canepa (ITA) Althea Racing Ducati

World Superbike Laguna Seca Race Two results:
1. Chaz Davies (GBR) Aruba.it Ducati
2. Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki Racing
3. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki Racing
4. Jordi Torres (SPA) Aprilia Racing/Red Devils
5. Leon Haslam (GBR) Aprilia Racing/Red Devils
6. Ayrton Badovini (ITA) BMW Motorrad Italia
7. Michael Van der Mark (NET) Pata Honda
8. Niccolò Canepa (ITA) Althea Racing Ducati
9. Leandro Mercado (ARG) Barni Racing Ducati
10. Leon Camier (GBR) MV Agusta
11. Randy De Puniet (FRA) Voltcom Crescent Suzuki
12. Román Ramos (SPA) Team Go Eleven Kawasaki
13. Matteo Baiocco (ITA) Althea Racing Ducati
14. Gianluca Vizziello (ITA) Grillini SBK Kawasaki
15. Christophe Ponsson (FRA) Team Pedercini Kawasaki
16. Gábor Rizmayer (HUN) BMW Team Toth
17. Imre Toth (HUN) BMW Team Toth
18. Santiago Barragán (SPA) Grillini SBK Kawasaki
DNF Alex Lowes (GBR) Voltcom Crescent Suzuki
DNF David Salom (SPA) Team Pedercini Kawasaki
DNF Davide Giugliano (ITA) Aruba.it Ducati
DNF Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Pata Honda




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