Davies victorious in Race 1 at Laguna Seca

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.

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

1. Chaz Davies GBR Aruba.it Racing Ducati 25 laps 
2. Jonathan Rea GBR Kawasaki Racing 1.202s 
3. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing 5.789s 
4. Marco Melandri ITA Aruba.it Racing Ducati 17.574s 
5. Xavi Fores ESP Barni Ducati 21.159s 
6. Leon Camier GBR MV Agusta 23.016s 
7. Jordi Torres ESP Althea BMW 31.986s 
8. Michael van der Mark NED PATA Yamaha 32.933s 
9. Leandro Mercado ARG IodaRacing Aprilia 35.936s 
10. Lorenzo Savadori ITA Milwaukee Aprilia 36.912s 
11. Stefan Bradl GER Red Bull Honda 44.961s 
12. Roman Ramos ESP Team Go Eleven Kawasaki 45.203s 
13. Raffaele De Rosa ITA Althea BMW 45.901s 
14. Alex de Angelis SMR Pedercini Kawasaki 46.043s 
15. Jake Gagne USA Red Bull Honda 46.805s 
16. Ayrton Badovini ITA Grillini Kawasaki 54.463s 
17. Randy Krummenacher SWI Puccetti Kawasaki 56.989s 
18. Jakub Smrz CZE Guandalini Yamaha 1m  
19. Ondrej Jezek CZE Grillini Kawasaki 1m
Did not finish
Eugene Laverty IRE Milwaukee Aprilia
Alex Lowes GBR PATA Yamaha