Monterey, California – Ducati Team star Chaz Davies scorched to a magnificent comeback win in Race 1 at Laguna Seca, but had to give best in Race 2 to Kawasaki factory riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes.
Davies recorded a superb win as he returned from his Misano injuries in style, with Rea and Sykes completing the podium. The leading three could not be caught by the rest of the field as they charged away at the head of the race over the opening laps, with Davies and Rea pulling away from Superpole winner Sykes in the final third of the race.
Davies held his nerve over the final few laps - with Rea right on his tail - to post a superb win as he put his back and thumb injuries from Round 7 firmly behind him, and celebrated by holding up a number 69 flag in tribute to the late Nicky Hayden. Davies’ final winning margin over Rea was 1.2s, with Sykes a further 4.6s behind in third.
After 25 exciting laps of the Laguna Seca track Marco Melandri on the second Ducati Team machine crossed the line fourth just ahead of Ducati privateer Xavi Fores, with Leon Camier (MV Agusta), Jordi Torres (BMW, Michael van der Mark (Yamaha), Leandro Mercado (Aprilia) and Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia) completing the top 10.
Rea came from eighth on the grid to take a dominant win over the rest of the field, beating his nearest challenger – Kawasaki factory team-mate Sykes – by 2.887s, to open up a 59-point advantage at the head of the standings going into the summer break.
It was his second win at Laguna Seca and he dedicated the victory to the late Nicky Hayden.
Davies did his best to pursue Sykes for second over the final laps but just could not catch the Kawasaki and had to settle for third, with Melandri and Fores completing the top five in hot conditions.
Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) bounced back from his Race 1 non-finish for a good sixth place, with similarly-mounted Leandro Mercado seventh and Lorenzo Savadori eighth, followed by factory Yamaha team-mates Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark.