It's full marks for Johnny Rea, achieving at Laguna Seca what he hadn't been able to do since Donington. Despite starting eighth on the grid, the Kawasaki rider had the bit between his teeth right from the outset and no-one was able to hold him back today.
Sykes gave it a shot in the early stages, but every attempt was in vain. The Cannibal triumphs in America and extends his championship lead. He couldn't have hoped for anything more.
“We did it by putting 25 good laps together. 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."
Rea's face says it all.
"We made a real step with the set-up overnight. I left the changes for today 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. This is a good way to go into the summer break", he smiles.
There's a little disappointment on the other side of the garage. Tom Sykes tried to make a break for it early on, but the dreams of #66 only lasted a few laps. Rea proved unbeatable, with his team-mate unable to contain him.
"I was in a bit of a hurry to get to the front in race two - he revealed - I came out of the last turn, looked at the big screen and saw my team-mate there. I wanted the riders behind to battle for a while but it wasn’t the case."
Sykes prefers to see the glass half full anyway.
"I made a couple of mistakes on one lap trying to adjust the rear brake and engine mapping, just to try something different. We have to be happy with second because today’s pace was faster. I am a little disappointed to lose some points in the championship but there is still a long way to go."
(Photocredits: Anna Simone)