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WSBK Laguna Seca: Rea takes race 2 as factory dominance continues

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There wasn’t much to write home about as Jonathan Rea took yet another World Superbike victory to extend his championship lead over Tom Sykes.

Sykes had the edge on his team mate going into the opening laps, working his way up to the lead by the second corner of the first lap. But Rea wasn’t far behind, and once he’d passed his team mate there was no stopping him as he bridged a 2.7 second gap with ten laps to go.

Yesterday’s winner Chaz Davies seemed to really struggle to fight his way through the pack as well as the Kawasaki’s did, but once he’d got past the Ducati of Xavi Fores he was hunting down Sykes who was dropping off the back of Rea.

Even though it was a fantastic victory for Rea, and a respectable performance from both Sykes and Davies, the race itself was extremely uneventful. We’re at the halfway point in the season now and there have only been four different winners, with all of them being on either factory Kawasaki’s or factory Ducati’s.

The reverse grid was brought in to rectify the issues we were seeing and to try and stop the domination of one of two manufacturers. Alas, it has not worked. Today, Sykes started race two in seventh position and by the second corner he was leading. There’s talk of introducing controlled ECU and Stock 1000 engines, but by the time that happens, will the series be too far gone? Will fans already have started to tune out?

There are so many talented riders on the grid that deserve to be fighting for podiums and race wins, but other teams just aren’t putting the money in. Kawasaki don’t shy away from throwing their bucks into the series, and Ducati put their fair share in too. But Yamaha and Honda especially throw their budgets into MotoGP, leaving much less money to fund their Superbike teams.

But I digress…we certainly can’t take anything away from the top three. Their talent is second to none and their styles are incredible. Rea, Sykes and Davies are fully deserving of their podiums this weekend, and long may we continue to see Brits dominate a World series (but let’s even the playing field a little more).

World Superbike race two:

  1. Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team – 35:03.414
  2. Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing Team + 2.887
  3. Chaz Davies, Aruba.it Ducati + 4.847
  4. Marco Melandri, Aruba.it Ducati + 17.159
  5. Xavi Fores, BARNI Racing Team + 22.741
  6. Eugene Laverty, Milwaukee Aprilia + 26.377
  7. Leandro Mercado, IODARacing + 28.475
  8. Lorenzo Savadori, Milwaukee Aprilia + 29.718
  9. Alex Lowes, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team + 33.044
  10. Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team + 33.541

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BT Sport extend UK MotoGP TV deal until 2021

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British telecoms provider and sports broadcaster extend their live TV deal for another three years.

The subscription-only sports broadcaster took over the rights to show MotoGP on UK TV screens from the BBC back in 2014 and have been hugely impressive in their commitment to the motorcycling premier class and the breadth of their coverage.

Now, thanks to an extension of the deal, BT Sport will continue to show complete coverage of each MotoGP round for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 seasons.

https://twitter.com/btsportmotogp/status/966283173566058496

Motorsport veteran and former BBC F1 presenter Suzi Perry will continue to front the show, alongside Craig Doyle, whilst Colin Edwards and James Toseland will remain onboard as pundits.

New to the line-up for 2018 will be ex-GP racer Michael Laverty as third foil for Edwards and Toseland whilst the retiring Julian Ryder will be replaced in the commentary box by former World Superbike champion – and current BT Sport presenter – Neil Hodgson.

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Honda’s new livery is the same as last years! Can we expect similar looking results from Marquez too?

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Honda 2018 RC213V revealed with near-identical livery to their dominating machine of previous years.

After dominating the recent pre-season tests in Thailand – and let’s be honest – the last few years of the MotoGP championship, Honda revealed their 2018 GP livery in Jakarta today.

And it is almost exactly the same as every other year…

…which bodes well for the Honda team and their precision-like consistency; whilst probably annoying everybody else with their predictability.

From a racing point of view, we’re confident that we can be ready to fight for the title again, because our engineers in Japan made a big effort this winter and our riders are ready.

We know that our competitors will also be strong, and that they’ve taken some steps forward, but we expect a thrilling season – Alberto Puig, Team Manager

Not known to take major risks, the team would appear to be more focused on gaining Marc Marquez his fifth world title – after his stunning win last year – than winning any livery design competitions. And let’s not forget that Pedrosa will almost certainly want to build on his two race wins and fourth place championship finish last year.

Not long now… Excited yet?

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