Chaz Davies continued to banish the memories of his nasty crash at Misano by claiming an impressive win in race one of the eighth round of the Superbike World Championship.
Three weeks ago, the Welshman crashed and collided with Jonathan Rea on the final lap of the opening WorldSBK race at Misano, sustaining a vertebrae fracture and a left thumb contusion.
He was passed fit to compete in California this week, even though his back still wasn't 100%, and wasted little time in returning to the top of the timesheets in practice.
When it came to Superpole qualifying, however, Davies had to settle for third behind Kawasaki duo Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea – although he would end up having the last laugh in race 1.
The race itself was not an exciting one, but it will hardly matter to the winner. Davies passed polesitter Sykes for the lead at the top of the Corkscrew with 14 laps to go, and never looked back.
— WorldSBK (@WorldSBK) July 8, 2017
Sykes would later get passed by team-mate Rea as well through the Rainey Curve. He tried to stick with the championship leader, but couldn't match his pace.
The Englishman revealed after the race he was struggling with corner entry grip, costing him valuable time.
As for Rea, outside of having a look down the inside at Rainey with eight laps to go, he couldn't really trouble Davies' Panigale.
The result means Rea stretches his championship lead over Sykes by four points.
Marco Melandri finished in fourth place after riding a very lonely race, well down on Sykes, and a few seconds ahead of Xavi Fores in fifth.
Leon Camier secured sixth place for MV Agusta, with Jordi Torres and Michael van der Mark a distant seventh and eighth.
Eugene Laverty was sitting in fifth place before he went down at turn three, his second crash there this week.
Full race one results