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Eugene unscathed but annoyed after Austria crash

By Paul Lindasy

Published 15/08/2016

Shunted: Eugene Laverty was forced off Austrian track
Shunted: Eugene Laverty was forced off Austrian track

A crash on the final lap, at the final corner during yesterday's MotoGP race at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, brought Toomebridge man Eugene Laverty's unbroken points' scoring finishes this season to an end, during round 10 of the series.

Ironically, the Pull & Bear Aspar MotoGP star had taken his best grid position, qualifying 10th on Saturday, but he experienced bad luck at the Spielberg circuit, when he was taken out on the final lap by Danilo Petrucci, after an intense battle with the 25-year-old Italian.

The Pramac Ducati rider made several aggressive moves on Laverty on the final lap and eventually put him down and out at the final corner, with both men fighting for 11th place.

Uninjured Laverty, who had scored points at the opening nine rounds this season on his privateer Aspar Ducati, said afterwards: "I got a terrible start, but I made up some places in the early laps.

"We had tyre problems and I lost a lot of time with that and dropped back, so I was just trying to salvage some points at the end."

Speaking of the incident with Petrucci, Laverty explained: "I was fighting for 11th on the final lap with Petrucci and in my opinion, he was riding too aggressively.

"At turn three he hit me at the apex and then I re-passed him at turn four.

"I went on to defend the line into the final corner, and again he did the same thing - coming up the inside - and I crashed.

"I'm not happy, because it happened more than once and it has cost me eleventh place.

"We worked too hard this weekend for someone to ruin things for us only 200 metres from the chequered flag."

Laverty remains 10th in the championship standings, but now on the same points [53] as British rider Scott Redding [Pramac Ducati], who finished eighth.

The race was won by factory Ducati rider Andrea Iannone - his first victory in MotoGP. His team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was second with reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo third on the Movistar Yamaha.

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