Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea took his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP to third place in a truncated race two at round nine of the 2014 World Superbike Championship at Laguna Seca in the USA this afternoon. The two races were won by Marco Melandri and Tom Sykes with Rea’s Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam scoring two seventh place finishes.
Starting from tenth place on the grid after his Superpole crash yesterday, Rea got a good start to the first 25-lap race around the 3.610km Californian circuit. However, while running in fifth place, the 27-year-old ran wide at turn three and dropped to tenth before fighting his way back to sixth place at the flag.
Race two was red-flagged after nine laps with Rea holding seventh place but a second red flag was shown immediately after the restart. Lining up seventh on the re-formed grid for a seven-lap sprint, he got another good start and a bold move past Toni Elias in turn 10 secured his 40th World Superbike podium.
Haslam had matched his team-mate’s pace for most of the Laguna Seca weekend but front grip issues restricted progress for the 31-year-old in the first race, in which he finished three seconds behind Rea. The grip issue transferred to the rear of Haslam’s bike in race two and he was forced to settle for another seventh place finish.
Next week, both Pata Honda riders will fly to Japan to join other Honda CBR1000RR-powered teams in the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours race on 27 July before an extended summer break, with the World Superbike Championship re-grouping for round ten at Jerez in Spain on 5-7 September.
Jonathan Rea - 6th and 3rdI feel we should have been stronger in race one today, but that was a knock-on effect of my mistake yesterday in Superpole. But the red flags definitely helped me in race two by improving my grid position but they gave me a bike today that was pretty good. In the second part of the race, I felt like I had a bike that could compete right at the front had I been there from the first lap. Unfortunately, Laguna is really hard to pass at so I had to make some bold manoeuvres but I enjoyed it! It’s how I like to ride and I’m excited to leave here with a podium, which almost feels better than my race win last week in Portugal. I’m excited to go into the summer break and come back strong for the last part of the year. Leon Haslam - 7th and 7thIn race one I felt pretty good – I got a good start but really struggled with front grip from lap one. I was hanging in there for a top five finish but in the last six or seven laps my pace dropped off quite a lot as I was really struggling with the front grip. In race two we didn’t change anything but the front grip came back and it was really good, but we struggled more with rear grip. On the three starts in race two the grip got worse and worse and I was over a second slower than I had been on a 20-lap tyre yesterday. We need to analyse why because the bike was the same and the boys have worked really well this weekend and we’ve been making good progress, especially on old tyres. To be that slow on new tyres in those re-starts was not what we wanted. Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinatorLeon had a good start in race one and was doing OK but the front grip went and he couldn’t do the lap times any more. Race two was a bit hectic but he had no rear grip and was a long way off his lap times from the weekend. We’re just investigating whether it was something with the tyre because all weekend he was matching Jonathan’s times, which was encouraging. Jonathan also had a good start to race one but in his eagerness to catch the front runners he ran off the track at turn three and rejoined back in tenth place. He got back to sixth but was very close to the guys in fourth and fifth. The red flags in race two led to a seven-lap sprint but he got another really good start and then passed Elias with a nice move for third. We’re really happy with that and we’re third in the championship a nd still in touch with second. That’s a good way to go into the summer break.
* WeatherSunny * Air21°C * Track38°C * Humidity55%
Race 1 Results1 Marco Melandri 35m07.782s ITA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team2 Sylvain Guintoli +0.905s FRA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team3 Tom Sykes +6.627s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team4 Davide Guigliano +13.574s ITA DUCATI Ducati Superbike Team5 Toni Elias +13.855s ESP APRILIA Red Devils Roma6 Jonathan Rea +15.575s GBR HONDA Pata Honda7 Leon Haslam +18.820s GBR HONDA Pata Honda8 Alex Lowes +20.184s GBR SUZUKI Voltcom Crescent Suzuki9 Loris Baz +34.479s FRA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team10 David Salom +37.463s ESP KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
* WeatherSunny * Air20°C * Track49°C * Humidity54%
Race 2 Results1 Tom Sykes 9m51.346s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team2 Sylvain Guintoli +1.014s FRA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team3 Jonathan Rea +2.793s GBR HONDA Pata Honda4 Eugene Laverty +3.681s IRL SUZUKI Voltcom Crescent Suzuki5 Toni Elias +4.165s ESP APRILIA Red Devils Roma6 Loris Baz +7.160s FRA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team7 Leon Haslam +7.331s GBR HONDA Pata Honda8 David Salom +15.061s ESP KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team9 Alessandro Andreozzi +15.764s ITA KAWASAKI Team Pedercini10 Leon Camier +17.015s GBR MV MV Agusta RCChampionship Standings1 Tom Sykes 325 pts GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team2 Sylvain Guintoli 281 pts FRA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team3 Jonathan Rea 261 pts GBR HONDA Pata Honda4 Loris Baz 253 pts FRA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team5 Marco Melandri 217 pts ITA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team6 Chaz Davies 159 pts GBR DUCATI Ducati Superbike Team7 Davide Guigliano 153 pts ITA DUCATI Ducati Superbike Team8 Toni Elias 137 pts ESP APRILIA Red Devils Roma9 Eugene Laverty 134 pts IRL SUZUKI Voltcom Crescent Suzuki10 Leon Haslam 133 pts GBR HONDA Pata Honda