Two second place finishes at Laguna Seca at the weekend helped Neil Hodgson extend his lead in the World Superbike Championship.

Two second place finishes at Laguna Seca at the weekend helped Neil Hodgson extend his lead in the World Superbike Championship.

Pierfrancesco Chili scored the 16th victory of his career in the first race. The Italian’s race started badly when his bike was damaged in a major pile-up at the start of the race.

Riders were allowed to use their spare machines for the restart. The Ducati rider took advantage when leader Ruben Xaus and Regis Laconi crashed. Only 13 riders finished race one.

"I cannot believe it," said Chili. "I'm very happy, but I think I was ever so lucky."

Chili was followed by Hodgson and James Toseland in second and third place respectively. "That's the best second place I've ever had. It's really difficult to pass so you just hope people make a mistake and thankfully they did,” said Hodgson.

In race two, Xaus was more careful and cruised home 12 seconds ahead of Hodgson. Chris Walker was third, with Laconi in fourth place. "I was on a hard tyre. It works really well when you push it. Otherwise it's not so good, so I had to push hard," Xaus said. Chili crashed out at the beginning of the race.

Hodgson leads the championship with 355 points, Xaus is second with 233 and Toseland third with 201.

The next round of the championship takes place at Brands Hatch on July 27.

Original article from Car