Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) has won Race 1 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which was eventually contested over 12 laps, rather than the scheduled 26 due to two red flags, caused by the crashes sustained firstly by Danny Eslick (Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki) and then by his team mate Roger Hayden.
The works Kawasaki rider took the lead on the tenth lap thanks to an outstanding overtaking manoeuvre at Turn 11, after a side-by-side downhill ride with Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet). The Championship leader then rode comfortably to win the race, while Marco Melandri lost some ground after trying to pass his team mate Davies at Turn 5 and then, on the final lap, lost third place courtesy of a superb pass by Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) at the "Corkscrew".
Laverty's team mate Sylvain Guintoli ended up fifth, a frustrating result for the Frenchman who was comfortably in the lead in each of the two interrupted races. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) claimed sixth place, ahead of Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), Toni Elias (Red Devils Aprilia), Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) and Mark Aitchison (Team Pedercini Kawasaki).
Potential podium contender Niccolò Canepa (Team Ducati Alstare) and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) could not line-up for the final restart of the race after crashing out in the second part. Both are thankfully uninjured as are Eslick and Hayden who should line up on the grid for tomorrow's second outing.
Thanks to his seventh win of the season, Sykes extends his lead to 22 points over Guintoli and 35 on Laverty, while Melandri is now 45 points short from the top rival.