Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Laverty Still Fourth after a Mixed Week

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Laverty Still Fourth after a Mixed Week

Article excerpt

Byline: Zoe Burn

EUGENE Laverty remains in fourth place in the FIM World Superbike Championship - despite a tricky weekend outing at Misano.

The honorary Durham star had a tough time as the leading championship rolled into the Italian circuit, and was left counting the cost of a crash in race two after pushing too hard.

It proved to be a weekend of mixed weather conditions, starting with grey skies and heavy rain just as the bikes prepared to head out for their Superpole qualifying session on Saturday afternoon.

This left the track in a treacherous condition, forcing the riders to skate around for feeling and causing several to crash just minutes into the first session, including reigning champ Max Biaggi and series leader Carlos Checa.

Laverty was the next rider to be caught out on the slippery track and crashed out, before rushing back to the pits to grab his spare Yamaha Factory R1 machine.

With just enough time to set a quick lap, he made it through to Superpole Two, but without his number one bike he struggled to get fully to grips with the settings and the track, and was knocked out after finishing the session 10th This meant he began both of Sunday's races from the third row, but he was determined not to let it stop him clawing back as many places as he could, as raceday dawned bright and sunny.

As race one got underway Laverty was quick out of the blocks, and quickly started to storm up through the pack.

By the midway point Laverty was looking stronger than ever as he chased down and passed polesitter Tom Sykes for fourth.

But with just a handful of laps to go tyre wear played its hand, and as he began to struggle for grip he fell back into the clutches of Sykes' Kawasaki, and had to settle for fifth.

"We took a gamble with the rear tyre in race one and it was okay until about four laps to go," the frustrated rider admitted.

"The left side of the tyre was completely worn which is very strange considering it's a right handling track. …

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