Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Laverty's double win is a great job

Eugene Laverty enjoyed double success at the World Superbike round in Istanbul yesterday

There was Turkish delight for Toomebridge motorcycling ace Eugene Laverty, who scored a magnificent World Superbike Championship double victory in Istanbul yesterday -- but later hinted that he could be out of a job next year.

The Monaco based Ulsterman's victories have pushed him back into the 2013 championship chase, and now trails Kawasaki Racing's Tom Sykes at the top of the table by just 26 points.

His Aprilia Racing team-mate Sylvain Guintoli trails Sykes by eight points in second place in the standings, just one place ahead of Laverty with six races remaining.

Laverty is not a rider to show much emotion, but was a little subdued in his victory celebrations.

"It's been a while coming. I've been waiting for this double coming since my last one at Monza in 2011," he said.

"It was probably a bit unexpected this weekend to be honest. Our pace all weekend was certainly good but it wasn't fantastic, so to win both races by a margin surprised me.

Looking ahead Laverty added: "Definitely our bike was strong at the end of both races as we've been working hard recently on the electronics side of things, so we can look ahead with optimism now.

"The gap to Sylvain in second and Tom at the top of the table has also come down, so yeah, we're still in with a chance in this championship."

In a cryptic Twitter social media post, Laverty later announced: "Strange feeling to win both races and to be on the lookout for a new job. Anyone need a fast employee for 2014?"

It was the first time this season Laverty has been able to take a WSB race one victory on his works Aprilia, taking the lead on lap 13 from Yorkshire man Sykes; then proceeded to edge away impressively for the victory.

GoldBet BMW's Marco Melandri, who is also a championship challenger, stole in to take second place away from championship leader Sykes in the closing stages.

Laverty came from fourth place in race two, pushing past the Kawasaki of Sykes with a block pass at the end of lap 12, and for the remaining six laps he was in total control -- taking the win by a similar two-second margin.

Dubliner Jack Kennedy came through from 12th place on lap one of the World Supersport race -- won by Turkish rider Kenan Sofuoglu -- to eventually finish ninth.

The RivaMoto rider has shown consistency during his first season in the middleweight division and is expected to stay with the Russian team for 2014, which is managed by Glengormley's Jeremy McWilliams.

Sam Lowes' second place, his ninth podium of the season, leaves the Lincolnshire rider and his Yakhnich Yamaha team 49 points to the good with just two races remaining in France (Magny Cours) and Spain as the Supersport class will not compete at the next WSB round at Laguna Seca on September 29.

Majorcan factory Yamaha pilot Jorge Lorenzo took a convincing three-second victory during yesterday's MotoGP race at Misano from Repsol Honda duo Marc Marquez and Dani Pedroza -- making it an all Spanish podium.

Presteigne-based Ulsterman Michael Laverty, brother of Eugene, finished 18th on the PBM Motorsport production-based CRT machine.

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