Belfast Telegraph

British Superbike Championship: Michael Laverty poised to close gap

By Roy Harris

The British Superbike Championship showdown reaches the penultimate round tomorrow with the Silverstone Arena meeting.

Swan Yamaha's Michael Laverty is ready to fightback and regain lost ground following his clash with Shayne Byrne during the opening lap of the second race at Donington Park.

Now 36 points adrift of championship leader John Hopkins, Laverty finds himself in fourth position ahead of tomorrow's two races. But he's unfazed by the prospect of closing the gap believing there is less pressure on him as he launches his fightback with five races remaining and a possible 125 points still available.

Laverty said: "Obviously what happened at Donington was not in the script, but that is behind us now and we know that the Swan Yamaha has the potential for strong results at Silverstone.

"I am approaching tomorrow's races exactly the same as I did at Donington, if anything I need to be less cautious and just need to go for race wins with no advantage to defend.

"I have proved we have the pace, so I will be fighting all the way to put the Swan Yamaha on the top step of the podium."

The Toomebridge rider ended yesterday's opening practice session in third position behind Hopkins and Laverty's Swan Yamaha team-mate Tommy Hill, just seven tenths of a second covering the trio.

The fight to be crowned British Supersport champion continues at Silverstone with championship leader Ben Wilson and Carrickfergus rider Alastair Seeley - the double victor at the last round and now 35 points adrift of his rival - once again set to do battle.

* AN impressive qualifying performance from Northern Ireland-based Aussie, Cameron Donald, helped the Honda TT Legends team, made up by Scot Keith Amor and Lancashire's John McGuinness, to a 10th place starting position on the grid for today's Le Mans 24-hour race.

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