Belfast Telegraph

Michael Laverty rues lack of MotoGP staying power

By Paul Lindsay

There was no fairytale ending at yesterday’s Silverstone Grand Prix round for local competitors Michael Laverty in the MotoGP class or Jeremy McWilliams on his return to GP racing in Moto2.

Laverty finished a creditable 17th on the Paul Bird Motorsport privateer machine, more than likely his last in blue riband GP paddock, with Glengormley’s McWilliams getting a stark reminder of how tough the premier class paddock is, finishing 29th on the under-developed carbon chassis Brough Superior on his wildcard appearance.

The 50-year-old takes home a broken nose after a double crash during Saturday’s qualifying left him battered and bruised going into yesterday’s Moto2 encounter at the Northamptonshire circuit.

Laverty’s effort on the Aprilia powered open class PBM machine afforded him the opportunity to slot in behind fellow Brits Cal Crutchlow (factory Ducati), Scott Redding (factory-supported Gresini Honda), and Leon Camier (factory-supported Aspar Honda) in the early exchanges, but a lack of grunt meant he had to settle for a respectable finish just outside the points.

Laverty said: “I was in with the other British riders after making a decent start, but I just didn’t have the grunt down the straights to stay with the Hondas. But it was a decent result for both myself and the PBM team, and we can take the positives to Misano.”

The MotoGP race victory was taken by runaway championship leader, and current world champion, Marc Marquez on the Repsol Honda. Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo was second, some eight seconds ahead of his team-mate Valentino Rossi, who was making a record-breaking 246th premier class appearance at Silverstone.

Marquez now leads the riders' standings with 288 points, 89 more than nearest rival Dani Pedrosa with Valentino Rossi 10 further back with six races of the season to go.

Marquez said: “Jorge was as strong as I expected before the race because I did the same time in the practice but it looked today that he was stronger and it was a great battle in the end.

“When I got past him for the first time I expected to open up a small gap but I made a small mistake and then he came by. But it was a great battle.”

Following his second-placed finish, Lorenzo admitted the better bike won, but was pleased with the improved Yamaha.

Lorenzo said: “It was clear Marc was the most powerful rider for this race but racing's racing and sometimes you get a surprise.

“I made a very good start, the first corner I took first position and I pushed to the maximum and arrived better than ever. But it was not enough as, at this moment the Honda is very good even if our bike has improved.”

Marc VDS riders Esteve Rabat and Mika Kallio were first and second respectively in the Moto2 class, with Maverick Vinales third on the Honda powered Paginas Amarillas Kalex chassis.

Misano will start a run of six grands prix that will end the season for Laverty at Valencia in November, but the Presteigne based Ulsterman will be expected to announce his 2015 plans before then.

With PBM team owner Paul Bird expected to run two teams in next season’s British Superbike Championship, Laverty and his current MotoGP team-mate Broc Parkes are the likely candidates to fill two of the four rides, alongside current BSB championship leader Shane Byrne.

Bird is currently talking to both BMW and Ducati, one of which will be run alongside his current PBM Kawasaki team.

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