Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

British Superbike Championship: Michael Laverty misses out

Michael Laverty failed in his bid to land the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship during a drama filled weekend of action at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

The Toomebridge rider ending up in fourth position in the series, won for the third time by Japanese rider Ryuichi Kiyonari, who won all three races at the final round of the 2010 series.

Laverty finished fourth in race one, crashed in race two just as the red flags came out for another incident, which allowed him to make the re-start only to be forced to start from the back of the grid after failing to make the warm-up lap on time as his team repaired his Relentless Suzuki by TAS.

After an excursion across the grass trying to make up time Laverty could only manage a ninth place finish and then in the final race he again finished off the podium in fourth position after initially leading the race.

“The game plan when we came here was to win, but we just didn’t have the pace to do that,” he said.

“After the first race when the tyre spun on the rim and I had bad chatter problems the pressure was off and the best I could hope for was Kiyonari and Hill messing up.

“Unfortunately I had a weird sort of crash in race two and the team did a great job to get the bike ready for the re-start.

“In the final race I ended up in a hectic scrap with Ellison for third, but was not able to match his pace in the closing stages.

“It’s a disappointment not to finish higher in the championship, but we have put a good season.”

Tommy Hill — leading the championship going into the final three races — had a weekend to forget finishing second in race one, crashing twice in race two and fifth in race three to drop from first to third in the series.

After a 15th in race one, Alastair Seeley bounced back to claim a fifth and a seventh to take sixth in the championship.

John Laverty with a sixth, eighth and ninth in the three races finished eighth in the series.

Antrim rider John Simpson finished second in the 600cc Superstock race yesterday leaving him in fourth position in the championship a mere eight points behind the winner of the series Josh Day.

Glenn Irwin crashed out of fifth position on lap three of this race while Marshall Neill was the top local finisher in the Supersport race taking seventh position.

All eyes now turn to the Sunflower Trophy meeting at Bishopscourt this weekend.

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