Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

Ulster title hopes fading fast after triple blow in Assen

Any opportunity of Northern Ireland title success in this season’s British Superbike Championship slipped further in doubt at Assen, after the first of three Showdown meetings to decide the 2012 series at the Dutch venue last weekend.

Toome man Michael Laverty suffered disappointment with grip problems on his Samsung Honda and faded to a pair of seventh placed finishes — leaving him 38 points off the championship lead in fifth place.

And Alastair Seeley and Ian Lowry must have believed Halloween had come all too early with another disastrous weekend for the Carrick and Moira-based riders.

With two rounds and five races remaining, local championship hopes are now being pinned firmly upon Moneymore team Tyco Suzuki, who lead the series coming out of the Assen with their Newtownards-based Australian Josh Brookes.

His second race victory and 45 point haul at Assen leaves Brookes two points ahead of Shane Byrne on the Rapid Solicitor’s Kawasaki, but it’s another Kawasaki team that should generate local interest during the penultimate round this weekend at Silverstone — with John Laverty back in BSB action with the Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki squad.

Laverty, who started the season with Splitlath Aprilia, will replace the injured James Hillier for the final two rounds and is upbeat about the opportunity to join veteran challenger Chris Walker in the Pr1mo outfit.

“I’ll give it a shot and see what comes of it,” said Laverty.

“I just want to give a decent account of myself and that’s why I travelled to Assen to talk about set-up with the team.

“I had a call from another team on Tuesday, but I want to honour this job and see what I can do with it.”

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