Eugene Laverty made it two wins on the spin and his third of the season, after an impressive lights to flag victory during yesterday’s World Supersport race at Monza in Northern Italy.
The 23-year-old Parkalgar Honda rider qualified impressively in second place during Saturday’s timed session, avoiding the current pole position curse, and when the lights went out, the Toomebridge man was never headed during the 16 lap race.
The ultra fast straights at Monza create a slipstreaming paradise, make it almost impossible for anyone to break away, but Laverty obviously hadn’t read the script, pulling out an almost unassailable lead at mid distance.
In the closing stages, after constant use, his rear brake started to boil over, distributing fluid onto his boot, but after easing off in the final third, he upped the ante on the final two circuits to take victory by almost three seconds from Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Kenan Sofuoglu, with series leader Joan Lascorz third on his Motocard.com Kawasaki.
A delighted Laverty said: “I was able to brake later than Kenan and Joan into the first corner to take the lead, then I just tried to make a break for it. I kept an eye on my pit board after that and just controlled the gap. Kenan kept me honest for the whole race in second place but it’s great to get this win — my first-ever back to back victories.”
Laverty [91 points] has reduced the gap to Sofuoglu in the title race to only six points after five rounds with Spaniard Lascorz a further four in front on 101. The series now moves to South Africa, but with the recent Volcanic Ash cloud causing flight chaos, Laverty was unsure if they would travel.
He said: “I really do hope we can get the flight to South Africa as I love the circuit and had a good result there last year.”
In the World Superbike class, Jonathan Rea was looking to recapture the form that gave him a magnificent double at Assen just a fortnight ago, but unlike Laverty, there would be no back-to-back success for the Ballyclare man.
In race one after a disastrous start, Rea battled back from a lowly mid-pack position to fight for an unexpected podium in the final third.
Sadly for the Ulsterman, after a courageous manoeuvre, which momentarily took him up to third place — passing the Yamahas of Crutchlow and Toseland — he tucked the front on his Honda and it was game over.
In the second outing, Rea didn’t even make it through the modified turn one at Monza on the opening lap, getting tail-ended by Toseland, who was lucky to escape serious injury after getting collected by a number of riders before sliding unceremoniously to a halt.