Tight fight between Kawasaki riders in Laguna

Published: 24 July 2015

Laguna Seca saw a thrilling battle between the Kawasaki teammates, Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, with the Englishman coming out on top in both races and clawing back eight points in the title standings. However with 125 points separating them in the standings this race has done little to lessen Rea's vice like grip on World Superbikes in 2015.

Throughout each of the 25 lap races on Sunday the green machines were fighting with one another but it was Sykes who always looked the more comfortable with Rea running wide at turn two on numerous occasions.

“Jonathan and I had a great battle for the entire first race," said Sykes afterwards. "I had plus zero on my pit board, so I just had to manage the situation. I felt the rear tyre drop and had to compensate in some areas, trying to do some things slightly differently. It was not ideal but overall I am happy with second position considering the circumstances.

"We made two small changes for race two and it was strange because at the beginning I felt I had a really good bike set-up but in the rain Chaz took a couple of more risks. It paid off because he made a big gap and I think that was probably the deciding factor in the race. We had a couple of warnings and I was just not able to stick with Chaz. Overall, I am fairly satisfied but we were just not close enough. Two second places are acceptable but another rider took the prizes this weekend.”

Rea hasn't been accustomed to being beaten this year with these races the first time all year that he finished lower than second. Despite feeling that he had the pace to pull away from Sykes he couldn't make a move stick around the twisty Californian track but eventually he settled for a brace of 16 points as he moves towards a first world title.

“I tried a lot but there was nothing I could do to go through on Tom in race one. He also had a good pace but I am sure I had a higher pace. I just could not through him. I tried a few times and ran wide and it was very clear if I was to stick a pass it had to be an aggressive one and in the last laps I did not get an opportunity. He was riding quite smart.

"In the final corner I was a little bit behind and it was one of those where you had to be clever as well, because 16 points is a lot better than zero. We also had a good pace in race two but it was a little bit my fault because I made too many mistakes. Tom and I both lost a lot of time to Chaz when the rain was coming but we ended up with a really good pace together. Today we played the long game a little bit and third is where I could finish.”