Home hero Nicky Hayden got on the podium in Race 1 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with the American coming home P3 to a roar of approval from the crowd – followed very closely by teammate Michael van der Mark, who crossed the line in P4 to complete a good day at the office for Honda WorldSBK Team. After a Red Flag caused a restart in Race 2 at the legendary US venue, Hayden found himself struggling to replicate the pace from the aborted Race, as van der Mark began from the final row after having taken a tumble in the original few laps run – sealing his fate on the grid for the restart. Both Hayden and van der Mark battled in the group for P4 behind the dueling Ducatis of Davies and Giugliano, with the American crossing the line in P5 at the flag, and van der Mark staging an incredible recovery up to P7 – after moving from 19th to 11th in the first lap. “I’m really disappointed for how the race went, especially for how things were looking before the red flag,” lamented Hayden. “At the first start there was a little glitch in the light and I got buried, but I was good in turns one and two and made up a lot of positions. I was feeling more and more confident and just had my best lap of the weekend on race tyres, then the red flag came out. After the second start something happened: we’re not sure what exactly at the moment as the team is still analysing the data, but the bike was completely different. I couldn’t brake as good as yesterday and I lost all confidence. It’s a shame, really, because after the first start I thought I could have gone for something really special.” “Something happened at the first start because the lights went off and on again and that created a bit of chaos,” said van der Mark. “I tried to move up as quickly as possible but then I tried to outbrake Camier entering the Corkscrew but was too hard on the brakes and lost the rear. It was a bit scary, but thankfully I was able to find a gap between riders and avoid any collision. After that, I had a good start from the back of the field and managed to get close to the top 10 by the end of the first lap. I tried to make up some more places but the feeling with the bike was not the same as yesterday; I could close the gap a bit with the guys ahead but that was it. It was really hard to stay with them, but overall we must be happy with our seventh place today and with the weekend overall.” The Honda riders will be back out on track at Lausitzring in Germany in September for Round 10, after the summer break gives a chance to recharge before the last four Rounds of the season.