World Superbikes: Champion Rea completes win double at Laguna Seca

Jonathan Rea is aiming for a fourth consecutive World Superbike title
Jonathan Rea is aiming for a fourth consecutive World Superbike title

Northern Ireland's Jonathan Rea completed his first double race win at Laguna Seca to extend his lead at the top of the World Superbike standings to 75 points.

Rea's victory in Sunday's race was his 62nd career triumph in the series.

The 31-year-old Kawasaki rider took his eighth win of the season, with Wales' Chaz Davies second.

Isle of Man-based Rea, 31, becomes the first rider to win four World Superbike races at the California circuit.

He had previously claimed single-race successes at the US venue in 2016 and 2017.

Rea is chasing a fourth consecutive world title to equal the career tally achieved by Englishman Carl Fogarty.

Early leader Eugene Laverty secured the final podium position on his Milwaukee Aprilia.

Laverty had finished fourth in race two at Brno two weeks and repeated that result in race one in the United States, but improved this time round to clinch his 34th rostrum in the championship, but his first since returning to the series in 2017.

The County Antrim man, whose last top-three result was back in 2014, started from pole position for Sunday's race under the reverse grid system operated by World Superbikes in recent years, and made an early break at the head of the field.

Rea carved his way through from ninth on the grid and passed his compatriot with 18 laps remaining, before pulling clear to take victory by five seconds from Ducati's Davies for the second time this weekend.

"I'm so happy. The weekend went really well and the guys gave me an even better bike today. We changed the front of the bike and had even more stability. Credit must go to my crew chief Pere Riba. He's the man" said Rea.

"My thoughts were with Dan Kneen and Adam Lyon [who were killed in accidents at the Isle of Man TT] and these race wins are in their memory."

Yamaha pilots Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark were fourth and fifth, with Spaniard Xavi Fores sixth.

The next round of the championship will be staged at Misano in Italy on 7 and 8 July.

2018 WSB Riders' Championship
Jonathan Rea (GB)Kawasaki320 pts
Chaz Davies (GB)Ducati245
Michael van der Mark (Ned)Yamaha215
Tom Sykes (GB)Kawasaki196
Alex Lowes (GB)Yamaha183
Marco Melandri (Ita)Ducati168