Lowes was the only one of the five Yamaha riders to enjoy a trouble free Superpole session, although the Pata Yamaha rider was disappointed to qualify only eighth and to miss out on a place on the front two rows of the grid for Race 1 this afternoon. Superpole was red flagged after just five minutes when Baz crashed at the Corkscrew and damaged the air fence. The stoppage allowed his bike to be recovered and the Ten Kate mechanics managed to get the bike rebuilt before the end of the session, with Baz managing one fast lap in the final five minutes to secure ninth position on the grid.
Van der mark wasn't so lucky. The Pata Yamaha rider crashed at turn four shortly after the restart and, with his bike stranded at the side of the track, was forced to sit out the remainder of the session, which he ended in 15th position. Both Cortese and Melandri struggled to find a good feeling in Superpole, with the two GRT Yamaha riders eventually qualifying in 13th and 17th positions respectively.
It proved a challenging Race 1 for Lowes, who got a good start from the third row of the grid to slot into sixth place. As the field spread out in the closing stages the Pata Yamaha rider managed to catch Jordi Torres ahead of him, passing the Kawasaki rider for fifth place at turn seven and then holding the position to the chequered flag. The result means that Lowes closed the gap to his teammate van der Mark in the championship, with just 12 points now separating the Briton from third place in the standings.
A good start and some aggressive overtakes saw van der Mark inside the top ten at the end of the opening lap. By midrace distance the 26-year-old was in eighth place but moved up one more place with a pass on fellow Yamaha rider Baz with 11 laps to go. Van der Mark managed to pull away from the Frenchman in the closing stages to finish seventh, with Baz following him home in eighth place.
After fighting his way through heavy traffic from 17th position on the grid in the early stages, Melandri then had a lonely race to a top ten finish, with the veteran Italian taking the chequered flag in ninth place, less than two seconds behind Baz.
The physically demanding Laguna Seca circuit took its toll on Cortese, with the reigning Supersport World Champion struggling with a left shoulder injured in a crash last time out at Donington Park. Cortese gritted his teeth and rode through the pain to finish in the points in 14th position.