Eugene Laverty triumphs and a podium double for Jonathan Rea
Eugene Laverty and Jonathan Rea covered themselves in glory during yesterday’s World Superbike Championship races at the re-vamped Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire.
But it was Laverty who really stood out, taking victory in the World Supersport class with surgeon-like precision, overhauling series leader Kenan Sofuoglu on the last lap for another very valuable 25 points.
Take nothing away from Rea. His double World Superbike podium with a brace of second placed finishes on his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda not only maintained his third place in the WSB Championship table, but also saw him make ground on Leon Haslam in second.
A job very well done for the Ballyclare lad, who had a huge local contingent supporting him all around the circuit.
Laverty, who failed to finish at the previous round in the Czech Republic due to a mechanical failure, started the day 22 points behind World Supersport series leader Sofuoglu.
And with only four races left on the 2010 calendar, Laverty gave a frank assessment of the situation.
“I need to win the final four races of the year — I know it will be tough but I’m confident we can do it,” he stated.
Laverty’s confidence did manifest itself during the race action, but he needed two stabs, after the original encounter was red flagged after a huge spill involving Joan Lascorz and Roberto Tamburini on the opening lap.
As the main contenders battled for position, Lascorz clipped Laverty’s back wheel and while the Ulsterman managed to keep his Parkalgar Honda upright, the Barcelona rider was launched from his Kawasaki, before being collected by the luckless Tamburini who had nowhere to go.
Laverty was focused for the 16 lap re-start and it was Sofuoglu who became the Toomebridge man’s man challenger — both on track and in the championship.
In a nail-biting finale Laverty re-took the lead on the final lap and defended valiantly to take the win by just two tenths of a second.
Laverty now trails Sofuoglu by 17 points with three races remaining.