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WSBK USA Race 1: Emotional win for Davies at Laguna Seca

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Chaz Davies made an emotional return to the top step in race one of the US leg of the World Superbike championship.

The Welshman was forced to sit out race two in Rimini due to injuries sustained in his crash with Jonathan Rea.

But it was ‘Mr Superpole’ Tom Sykes who took the hole shot after starting from pole position, leading Davies whose strong start put him in front of Rea going into the first corner.

While Davies and Rea were battling each other for 2 nd , Sykes was beginning to get away at the front. With 14 laps to go Davies went through on Sykes for the lead, pushing the Kawasaki out wide and giving Rea the opportunity to come through on his team mate too.

Unfortunately for the Irishman, the move didn’t pay off and it took him a further two laps to pass his team mate and start hunting down Davies, who’s mistake on the entry to the Corkscrew allowed Rea to gain time.

That didn’t phase Davies though, as twelve laps later he crossed the line to take the win in an emotional tribute to the late Nicky Hayden.

The Pata Yamaha squad of Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes have really struggled so far this weekend, complaining of issues with front end feel. This showed in their performance, as Lowes crashed out with 19 laps to go, and van der Mark struggled to claw his way up to 8th position.

Marco Melandri was carrying the confidence of his win in Misano and honestly I expected a lot more. It seems as if Melandri is always comfortable and happy to finish in 4th . Can we blame him? Fourth position means pole position in race two tomorrow, a massive advantage over his rivals on a tricky circuit.

Jake Gagne was carrying the American flag for the Honda team at what would’ve been Nicky’s home race. He did a fantastic job, bringing home a point in his first ever World Superbike race. Nicky has been very prominent at Laguna this weekend. A sea of ‘69’ flags never stopped waving throughout the grandstands and the amount of Hayden merchandise seen worn with pride around the paddock showed just how truly respected the American was.

Chaz Davies dedicated his victory today to Nicky and rightly so, as it was a race he would’ve been proud of.

World Superbike race one:

  1. Chaz Davies, Aruba.it Ducati – 35:14.812
  2. Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team + 1.202
  3. Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing Team + 5.798
  4. Marco Melandri, Aruba.it Ducati + 17.574
  5. Xavi Fores, BARNI Racing Team + 21.159
  6. Leon Camier, MV Agusta Reparto Corse + 23.016
  7. Jordi Torres, Althea BMW Racing Team + 31.986
  8. Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team + 32.933
  9. Leandro Mercado, IODARacing + 35.936
  10. Lorenzo Savadori, Milwaukee Aprilia + 36.912

DNF

  • Eugene Laverty, Milwaukee Aprilia – 15 laps
  • Alex Lowes, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team – 19 laps

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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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