Race 1 on the exciting Laguna Seca track was a triumph for Aprilia. Off to an excellent start, Melandri and Guintoli took the race lead in the first lap, taking advantage of an error by Tom Sykes at the “corkscrew”. The three immediately showed that they had a completely different pace than the rest and the progressively opened up the gap at the front. Before the midway point the two Aprilia standard bearers, with Melandri in the lead, progressively increased their advantage over Sykes until, in the second half of the race, Melandri set a pace that his team mate was unable to keep, crossing the finish line first for the third time this season after his double win in Malaysia. For his part Guintoli was able to maintain his lead over Sykes, taking an excellent second place.