By now, the plot of this Superbike world championship is really full of twists. The Laguna Seca Superpole Race could indeed have really put an end to the fight for the championship: Jonathan Rea on the first step of the podium, Alvaro Bautista on the ground after not even two turns. Something unthinkable a few months ago, but that now seems to be part of the agenda.
Alvaro Bautista ended up falling at the first turn, following contact with Toprak Razgatlioglu. Difficult to blame one or the other, with Bautista inside the trajectory but perhaps slightly long, at least enough to hit the Turkish rider, with only Bautista falling prematurely. Now Alvaro has to recuperate 61 points. An almost impossible mission.
For a moment, they also feared a physical complication for the Spanish rider, but the check-up he underwent for his left shoulder shows no serious injury. The red flag that waved just a few turns after Alvaro's accident, caused by the contact and fall of Delbianco and Beach, made Ducati was hoping be able to get back on track on the 19th, but the little time that's at hand to get the motorcycle back up and running has thwarted that hope.
On the other side of the world championship ring there is a simply perfect Jonathan Rea. Burned out in the beginning by Davies, at the second start, he didn't repeat his error, setting an unsustainable pace for the Welsh rider. "This victory is also important for the pole. I felt very comfortable with the tires, especially the rear. The day and weekend are perfect so far. I must remain attentive and focused on Race 2, to continue on this path."
According to the aforementioned Davies, who finished second at two and a half seconds from Rea, but who's again on the podium: "It was too bad for the red flag after the first start since, in the second start, I didn't take off at my best, and I paid for it. Now all that remains is to think of Race 2 and give it my all."
Third place for Tom Sykes, who wins a new podium for BMW. "We're working well, and the weekend is going really good. We had to work above all on the electronics, but I'm having fun riding, and I'm happy to have achieved our goal."
N.66 left Toprak Razgatlioglu at the foot of the podium, coming 4th in front of Haslam and Lowes. Baz 7th ahead of Torres, Mercado, and Van Der Mark. Rinaldi 13th. Delbianco, who didn't take off for the second start, is on par with Beach and Bautista.
At the start, Rea gets the best shot, followed by Davies, Sykes, Haslam, Razgatlioglu, Lowes, and Baz. Melandri 14th. At the end of the first lap, nothing changed in the first positions, with Rea immediately trying to create a gap.
Minus 6 till the end. Rea makes a record lap and has eight tenths on Davies, closely followed by Sykes. Haslam 4th in front of Toprak, Lowes, Baz, Torres, and Mercado. Melandri 12th in front of Van Der Mark. Long for Melandri in the lap after Turn 2. The race is compromised for the rider from Ravenna.
Four laps to go. Rea was leading with a second and a half on Davies who, in turn, slightly broke away from Sykes. The fight for fourth place between Haslam and Toprak continued, with Lowes a few meters away from the two. Baz 7th, Van Der Mark 12th in front of Rinaldi.
Razgatlioglu overtook Haslam entering the corkscrew A great maneuver by the Turkish rider who, with a lap and a half available, tried to reach Sykes and the podium.
Last lap. Rea with a couple of seconds on Davies. Positions that seem to have crystallized, at least for the first four, with Lowes trying to attack Haslam for fifth place. Jonathan Rea wins!! Davies 2nd ahead of Sykes, Haslam, and Lowes. Van Der Mark 10th, Rinaldi 13th in front of Laverty.