Toni Elias took a brace of victories at the sixth round of the AMA series at Laguna Seca onboard the new GSX-R1000, while his teammate, Roger Hayden, finished second on both occasions.
Hayden qualified on pole, but in race one he could only follow Elias at the front. In race two, however, the American led for much of the race before Elias passed him into turn two on the final lap. Building momentum throughout the remainder of the lap, Hayden launched an assault at the final corner, but it was a last-ditch effort that saw him run wide, allowing former MotoGP race-winner Elias to cut underneath and take the chequered flag.
Elias said of his double win, “It was an amazing weekend. I struggled a bit in the cooler conditions for race two and Roger was very strong. Fortunately, I was able to pass him on the last lap and get the second victory of the weekend. I’m very happy with the way the team is working together. It is perfect.
“Winning both races helped give me a gap in the standings and that is important because this season still has a lot of races to go. I am looking forward to going to Sonoma and I will try to continue doing what we are doing. If we can keep winning it will be perfect, but if we can’t and have to take second, that will be good too.”
Hayden added after another strong performance, “We got the pole again this weekend, so I was pretty excited about that. In Saturday’s race, I pretty much followed Toni around. Then we made some changes to the bike and it was a lot better for Sunday’s race.
“I tried to hold onto the lead, but Toni got by me in turn two on the last lap. I tried to throw a Hail Mary on the last turn, but he was protecting the inside line. I knew it was a long shot and it didn’t quite work. I’m looking forward to getting back to Sonoma and hopefully we can finish strong in the last four events.”