When it counts, there's Toni Elias. In fact, the Spanish rider from the Yoshimura team didn't seem to have what it took to look down upon everyone at Laguna Seca, but the race is often something else compared to the practice sessions and he, once again, proved this by winning Race1.
Toni got the better of the Gerloff-Beaubier Yamaha duo winning his sixth victory of the year in California. "Yesterday we tried out so many things, in order to figure out what we needed on this track," he said. "And today we put it all together. I felt good right from the first lap, and I tried to quickly get the lead knowing that Beaubier had a very fast pace. I passed four riders and managed to implement my strategy. I'm really happy."
The defending champion not only had to bow down to Elias but also to his teammate, Garrett Gerloff, second at the finish line, a few tenths from the winner. "The frustrating thing is not being able to make the difference where I was faster, but it was still a good race. During the first laps, we all fought with great fervor. I tried to keep ahead, but Elias was really very fast. I feel good. I'll try again tomorrow."
Third place went to Cameron Beaubier who, with this result, slips to -35 points from the leader, Elias. "I knew from the practice sessions that I had an excellent pace but, for some reason, I couldn't replicate it in the race. It was a crazy race but, unfortunately, it was not my day. I just have to keep working to figure it out and try to do better tomorrow."
Fourth place for JD Beach, who retired in Race 1 of the WorldSBK, while Josh Herrin didn't get to see the checkered flag because of a contact with Beaubier while he was fighting for the top positions. It was also a difficult day for Jake Gagne, Matthew Scholtz, and Kyle Wyman, who ended up falling.