World Superbikes: Jonathan Rea extends series lead with win in California

Jonathan Rea in action in Misano
Jonathan Rea's win extended his World Championship lead to 71 points

Jonathan Rea increased his lead in the World Superbike Championship to 71 points as he held off Tom Sykes to win race one in the Laguna Seca round.

Welsh rider Chaz Davies crashed out on lap six in California while leading, which left Rea's Kawasaki team-mate Sykes in front.

But Northern Irishman Rea, 29, passed Englishman Sykes with six laps left and was 0.81 seconds ahead at the finish.

American Nicky Hayden completed the podium positions in the US race.

Hayden's Honda team-mate Michael van der Mark was fourth with Britain's Alex Lowes and Italian Lorenzo Savadori completing the top six.

Rea was clinching his eighth win in this season's series and his third successive triumph following his double win in the previous round at Misano.

The Northern Irishman's victory brought his overhaul haul of World Superbike wins to 37.

Huddersfield's Sykes, 30, has won four times this season - including a double victory in the British round at Donington Park.

The riders will be back in action in race two at the Californian venue on Sunday evening.

That will be followed by an eight-week break, before the final run of rounds which takes in Germany, France and Spain, before concluding in Qatar on 29 and 30 October.

World Superbike Championship 2016
1. Jonathan Rea (GB)Kawasaki368
2. Tom Sykes (GB)Kawasaki297
3. Chaz Davies (GB)Ducati244
4. Michael van der Mark (Ned)Honda176
5. Davide Giugliano (Ita)Ducati165
6. Nicky Hayden (USA)Honda162

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