Belfast Telegraph

Eugene Laverty aims for a top 10 hit in Spanish MotoGP round at Aragon

By Jill Goligher

Eugene Laverty continues his focus on bowing out of MotoGP with a series top 10 finish in the third home race of the season for his Spanish team at Aragon, near Barcelona, where team-mate Yonny Hernandez is also targeting points.

The MotoGP championship is making its third of four stops in Spain this weekend, another home race round for the Toomebridge racer's Pull&Bear Aspar Team. 

Eugene has fond memories of the Aragon circuit where he celebrated an Open class victory last season. He also stood on the podium there in World Superbikes in 2012 and knows a highly placed finish in this weekend's race will be vital to maintain his hopes of the top 10 spot.  Overall he hopes to achieve before returning to WSWB next season.

Eugene said: "At the last round at Misano, in Italy, I realised that the problem we have is with turning the bike. It meant that I lost a lot of time in the tight sections. That is where we struggled last weekend and where we have to improve. We'll try to do that at Aragon. 

"I've put in a lot of laps there in World Superbikes and also won the Open class last season, so it's a good track for me and we are going for the top 10 there - that's always the goal and we need it in order to keep up the fight for 10th in the World Championship."

Aspar team-mate Yonny Hernandez also has pleasing memories of the circuit, with an unbroken run of point-scoring finishes in MotoGP which he would love to extend on Sunday.

Last year the Colombian recorded one of the best results of his season with a 10th place finish that he is keen to repeat as he targets a run of top-15 finishes between now and the end of the season.

Hernandez said: "I hope to be able to give my very best in the next round of the championship in Aragon and find a good set-up from the start that will allow me to run close to the front and fight for points.

"Motorland is a circuit I like and we know it well. Generally it is a good track for me and I have always been in the points there since I started in MotoGP."

The vast Motorland track has been the scene of a turf war between Jorge Lorenzo and current Championship leader Marc Marquez in recent seasons.  Although Valentino Rossi has never won there, the Italian has pulled points back on the championship front runner in the last four consecutive meetings but he needs to maintain this trend if he is to arrive at Valencia for the final round with a shot at the title.

The best way to do this, of course, would be to break an historic run of eight different winners from the last eight races, with only five races remaining of the season starting this weekend at Aragon.

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