Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Laverty running out of time in title hunt

Title tilt: Eugene Laverty is chasing glory at Silverstone

Toomebridge's Eugene Laverty openly admits that a double podium during this weekend's ninth round of the World Superbike Championship at Silverstone is a must if he is to keep his 2013 title aspirations alive.

The Monaco based Irishman – who is in fourth place and currently 49 points adrift of his team-mate Sylvain Guintoli at the top of the standings – will be back home in Toome next week to catch up with family and friends.

But for now, his only focus is on putting his RSV4 Factory Aprilia Racing machine on the top step at Silverstone – after scoring just 41 points from a potential 125 in the last five races.

Speaking from the Côte d'Azur en route to Silverstone, Laverty was, as always, self critical and frank in his summing up of recent events.

"The last two rounds haven't gone to plan for us," he admitted. "Yes it's frustrating, but I've always been a firm believer that you make your own luck, despite some of the things that have gone on."

He then went on to give an insight and candid explanation on his low scoring haul at Moscow and previously Imola, by recounting: "The crash at Imola in race two was influenced by electronics; then in Moscow I was just riding round to take whatever points I could – not risking a crash – but I hit the deck again because of another electronics problem."

GoldBet BMW's Marco Melandri took the unpopular 'flag to flag' victory in treacherous condition, leap-frogging Laverty into third spot in the standings, but the Toome man has no complaints with the organiser's decision.

Speaking positively he said: "I can understand why they do it. It's something different and it will be a race everyone will remember of course.

"Strangely enough, it was quite fun riding in those conditions; until you hit the deck that is, as you go down so hard." Isle of Man based Ulsterman Jonathan Rea, who is still without a victory this season aboard the Pata Honda, was fourth in Russia.

But like Laverty, he will be looking to Silverstone to offer some podium action after tasting major disappointment last weekend at the Suzuka 8-Hour.

His team-mate for the weekend in Japan, Ryuichi Kiyonari, all but destroyed their FCC TSR Honda in a crash after Rea had build up a comfortable lead – as he looked to retain his coveted crown.

So the Ballyclare lad will be looking for a magical elixir on Sunday, as he chases down that first top step of the year.

"I was devastated to finish the 8-Hour race the way we did, but these things happen," said Rea.

"I've had mixed results at Silverstone in the past but I'll attack it the same way I attack every other circuit.

"Being the second British round, it'll be good to see a lot of friendly faces there."

Rea currently holds seventh place in the championship standings.

Superpole qualifying for the World Superbike class takes place on Saturday at 3pm with Sunday's two18-lap races at 12pm and 3.30pm respectively.

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