Kawasaki Racing Team pair first and second in Race 2 at Laguna Seca
Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes finished Sunday’s Race 2 at the GEICO US Round in first and second respectively, wrapping up another successful weekend for Kawasaki.
Having both also featured on the podium on Saturday in Race 1 both riders performed well in the last race before WorldSBK’s summer break. Rea rode from eighth on the grid for the second Laguna Seca win of his career whilst Sykes notched up his 97th podium in second place, improving on third from Saturday.
Rea and Sykes are also still 1-2 in the championship fight, with Rea extending his championship lead to 59 points.
Rea blasted off the grid setting a record pace with a 1’23.275 on lap two, and he went past his team-mate Sykes on lap three, easing out a gap as the race progressed.
“It was awesome to win and we did it by putting 25 good laps together,” reflected the World Champion. “Right from the first lap Tom got away and I found it hard coming through at that stage. But when I got clear I put my head down and I knew it was game on. As soon as the opportunity presented itself and went through into the lead, and set my rhythm. We made a real step with the set-up overnight.”
“I left the changes to Pere my crew chief and did not go into too much detail. He came up with a good plan in warm-up and it seemed to work. Everything seemed to be coming easier and during the race I did not change anything, just played a little bit electronically with the engine braking settings. I want to thank all my team for giving me a great package and this is a good way to go into the summer break.”
Meanwhile, Sykes, stated: “I was in a bit of a hurry to get to the front in race two and I was hoping to be going there alone. I came out of the last turn, looked at the big screen and saw my teammate there. I wanted the riders behind to battle for a while but it wasn’t the case. The bike was very consistent and we stayed in the high 1’23s to low 1’24s all race. I made a couple of mistakes on one lap trying to adjust the rear brake and engine mapping, just to try something different.”
“Credit to the boys in the garage as today’s pace was faster, the race was faster and had a lot safer feeling. I am a little disappointed to lose some points in the championship but there is still a long way to go.”