Factory Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty ended the weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a victory in the second World Superbike race. Davide Giugliano finished a close second, also on an Aprilia, with BMW’s Marco Melandri a few bike lengths behind in third.
"This was anything but an easy race," admitted the Irishman. "Yesterday I struggled quite a bit to keep up with the front runners and I managed to finish on the podium by overtaking twice in the last lap. I want to thank my team because we worked a lot on the bike and took a big step forward that allowed me to ride better in spite of the grip issues."
After running at the front for much of the 26-lap contest Saturday’s race winner and works Kawasaki rider Tom Sykes finally succumbed to pressure from both Laverty and Giugliano with two laps to go. Sykes seemed to be struggling with grip unable to maintain his speedy pace. The following lap saw Melandri would move past the Englishmen dashing his hope of another podium visit.
“It was great to win yesterday and I led for a long time today but that was the first time we have struggled with grip all weekend," told Sykes. "We were six or seven tenths off our best times in the same track conditions and we have to think about why that was."
Although Sylvain Guintoli had the pace to run at the front he wasn’t quite close enough to the lead group to apply any pressure. He would finish fifth almost three seconds behind his teammate.
"To be honest this was a disappointing Race 2," said the Frenchman, who went from second to third in championship points. "I expected much more and, all things considered, the start was good. I felt like I could pass Tom and Eugene, but instead I came under attack from Melandri and Giugliano and dropped back behind the lead group."
Sixth place went to Jules Cluzel who finished in front of Toni Elias. American and Jordan Suzuki rider, Roger Lee Hayden put in a solid performance on his slower and lower-spec GSX-R1000 finishing eighth. Blake Young upped his pace from yesterday which put him into 12th place, two spots ahead of Hayden’s Jordan teammate, Danny Eslick who was competing with a shoulder injury sustained in his big crash in Saturday’s race.
After finishing on the box yesterday, Chaz Davies was unable to finish today’s race due to an unknown mechanical problem on this BMW S1000RR.
World Superbike Laguna Seca Race 2 Results:
1. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
2. Davide Guigliano (Aprilia)
3. Marco Melandri (BMW)
4. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
5. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia)
6. Jules Cluzel (Suzuki)
7. Toni Elias (Aprilia)
8. Roger Lee Hayden (Suzuki)
9. David Salom (Kawasaki)
10. Michel Fabrizio (Honda)
11. Leon Haslam (Honda)
12. Blake Young (Suzuki)
13. Mark Aitchinson (Kawasaki)
14. Danny Eslick (Suzuki)