2014 Laguna Seca World Superbike Results
Spoiler Alert: 2014 World Superbike results from Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway listed below
Ahead of the nearly two-month summer break, the 2014 World Superbike Championship headed to Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway for round nine.
The doubleheader arrived with only a few-days break since Portimao, and created a tighter points battle.
Due to their finishes at Laguna Seca, the reigning World SBK Champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) are now tied in points with 163 each. The next closest rider is Ducati Team’s Davide Giugliano, who trails the two by 22 points.
Before nearly 50,000 fans, the opening 25-lap race was won by Aprilia Racing Team’s Marco Melandri. The Italian was joined on the race-one podium by Guintoli and Sykes.
In race two, the pole-man Sykes earned the win – his sixth of the season. He was joined on the podium by Guintoli and Pata Honda World Superbike’s Jonathan Rea.
Following are recaps of each race.
2014 Laguna Seca World Superbike Race 1
Sykes took the holeshot, with the Aprilia duo of Guintoli and Melandri in tow. But a mistake at the Corkscrew would cost him two positions. The Aprilia duo was now out front, with Melandri in the lead.
As these three riders pulled away from the pack, Ducati Superbike Team’s Chaz Davies suffered a huge crash on the fourth lap. This allowed Pata Honda World Superbike’s Leon Haslam to slip into fourth.
Up front, the battle intensified, but soon Melandri would break away, taking his third win of the season. Finishing fourth behind Guintoli and Sykes, respectively, was Ducati Superbike Team’s Davide Giugliano.
Taking the next four spots were Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia), Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), Haslam, Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes and Kawasaki Racing Team’s Loris Baz.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s David Salom took the top EVO time, finishing 10th ahead of with Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) and Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia) 12th.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was classified 15th and took the final championship point on his debut for the Italian team.
Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) was a notable retirement as were Ayrton Badovini (Team Bimota Alstare), Aaron Yates (Team Hero EBR), Peter Sebestyen (Team Toth BMW) and Wildcard rider Larry Pegram (Foremost Insurance EBR). As for the other Wildcard American rider, Chris Ultrich finished 24h aboard the GEICO Honda CBR1000R.
2014 Laguna Seca World Superbike Race 2
In race two, Sykes once again took the holeshot, followed by Guintoli, Melandri and Laverty.
Guintoli put on the pressure, and eventually took the lead on the fifth lap. But Sykes immediately responded, and took back the top spot.
Melandri also seized the moment to take advantage Guintoli, who went off his line. The Italian moved into third, and the battle was not between six riders, including Giugliano and Elias.
On lap 11, Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes suffered a huge crash on the Corkscrew, which brought out the red flags. The Brit was taken to the medical center for further checks.
The race was delayed, and was restarted for a seven-lap sprint to the end. The riders would line up on the grid in the positions they held prior to the stop. Sykes remained on the pole with the Aprilia duo of Melandri and Guintoli alongside. Row two for the restart saw Laverty, Elias and Giugliano.
The race began, but soon red flags were out once again when BMW Motorrad Italia’s Sylvain Barrier crashed at the start/finish straight.
Sykes would eventually take the win ahead of Guintoli and Rea. Melandri and Giugliano were on a charge, but both crashed out. Rounding out the top five were Laverty and Elias.
Baz would finish sixth, followed by Haslam, the top-EVO rider Salom, Team Pedercini Kawasaki’s A. Andreozzi and Camier on the MV Agusta Reparto Corse F4RR. As for the wildcard riders, Pegram finished 14th, and Ulrich 17th.
The 2014 World Superbike series now breaks until September 7 when the series returns at Jerez.
Photos by Ara Ashjian