Eugene Laverty suffers disappointment in wet MotoGP at Misano as Marc Marquez takes the win
Yesterday's 28-lap MotoGP race at Misano will be remembered for chaotic wet and dry conditions, which saw virtually all of the riders on the grid change bikes at least once.
Unfortunately for Ulsterman Eugene Laverty, he can consider himself hard done by in the conditions, eventually finishing 19th on his Aspar Honda.
Laverty said afterwards: "It's always easy to look back on a race with hindsight and maybe we could have pitted earlier in the race, but anything you do in this situation is a gamble and that's the way it goes."
It was a day of gambling that saw Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Yamaha) and Scott Redding (Honda) on the podium, which was a British first since Barry Sheene and our very own Tom Herron did likewise at the GP of Venezuela back in 1979.
Marc Márquez played the best hand in a lottery of a race, taking victory from Smith and Redding.
Laverty heaped praise on his British Isles counterparts, by saying: "It was a hero or zero kind of race and fair play to the boys on the podium, but it could so easily have gone the other way for them. The biggest surprise for me was when I went back out on my dry bike again and the lap time and the feeling was incredible."
Looking ahead, the Toomebridge man added: "I wasn't sure Misano would suit us, but we have actually shown good pace at certain points of the weekend so now we can go to Aragon and Phillip Island, two tracks that should be good for us, with optimism."
Only podium man Bradley Smith finished the race without pitting after taking the gamble of staying out on slick tyres despite a rain shower just as the race started. Jorge Lorenzo crashed out shortly after changing bikes, leaving his Movistar Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi to virtually double his championship lead to 23 points, despite finishing fifth.
The Irish Superbike Championship continued over the weekend at St Angelo airport as part of the Enniskillen 100 Revival. Alistair Kirk (McCurry Kawasaki) took both Superbike wins and now trails IFS Yamaha's Ryan Rainey by just one point in the Irish championship standings.
Newcomer to the circuit Rainey took second place in both outings, with Korie McGreevey third in race one aboard a 675 Triumph, with Phillip McNally third in race two.
Suzuki mounted Jason Lynn and Robert Kennedy (Yamaha) were the Supersport winners at St Angelo, with Korie McGreevy third in both outings on the IMR Triumph. Bangor's Robert English had a mediocre meeting but still leads the Irish championship by 36 points.
At Scarborough, Bradford's Dean Harrison took five wins and the coveted Gold Cup trophy after blitzing his rivals for Mar-Train Racing.
Moto GP San Marino race positions
MotoGP: 1 Marc Marquez (Spa) Honda 48mins 23.819secs, 2 Bradley Smith (Gbr)Yamaha 48:31.107, 3 Scott Redding (Gbr) Honda 48:42.612, 4 Loris Baz (Fra) Forward Yamaha 48:50.246, 5 Valentino Rossi (Ita) Yamaha 48:57.015, 6 Danilo Petrucci (Ita) Ducati 48:58.906, 7 Andrea Iannone (Ita) Ducati 49:00.346, 8 Andrea Dovizioso (Ita) Ducati 49:01.253, 9 Dani Pedrosa (Spa) Honda 49:03.335, 10 Aleix Espargaro (Spa) Suzuki 49:03.511
Leading Championship Standings
Rider: 1 Valentino Rossi (Ita) Yamaha 247pts, 2 Jorge Lorenzo (Spa) Yamaha 224, 3 Marc Marquez (Spa) Honda 184, 4 Andrea Iannone (Ita) Ducati 159, 5 Bradley Smith (Gbr) Yamaha 135, 6 Andrea Dovizioso (Ita) Ducati 128, 7 Dani Pedrosa (Spa) Honda 109, 8 Danilo Petrucci (Ita) Ducati 93, 9 Pol Espargaro (Spa) Yamaha 81, 10 Cal Crutchlow (Gbr) Honda 79