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Laverty unhurt after horror smash and all set to race

By Paul Lindsay

Published 15/10/2016

Miracle escape: Eugene Laverty somehow emerged relatively unscathed from crash in Japan yesterday
Miracle escape: Eugene Laverty somehow emerged relatively unscathed from crash in Japan yesterday
Bike crash: Eugene Laverty was accompanied by wife Pippa in helicopter

Eugene Laverty suffered a massive 180mph crash during practice for tomorrow's MotoGP race at Motegi in Japan.

Following medical checks at the circuit, the 30-year-old Monaco-based Ulsterman was flown to Dokkyo Medical University, and must now wait on a fitness test from the circuit medics this morning, which will determine whether he can continue this weekend.

Speaking from Japan, his wife Pippa told the Belfast Telegraph: "Eugene had to be flown via helicopter to have extra scans, which included a CT scan, but they all came back okay. He has to go to the doctor at the track in the morning for a fitness test, but I'm sure he will be fine to continue riding this weekend," added Pippa.

Her Geordie humour shone through in one of her social media posts, when commenting on the scenery from the helicopter.

"Shame you couldn't see the view as it was really beautiful," before feeling sorry for her husband, who was lying prone in the helicopter, by adding: "Joking aside, glad you are okay. Just want to thank everyone at the circuit and hospital for making sure Eugene was safe and well looked after.

"Thank you also for all the kind messages," she said referring to Laverty's army of fans who posted messages on the various social media platforms wishing him well.

Laverty's crash wasn't the only one at Motegi yesterday.

Factory Honda rider Dani Pedrosa also crashed heavily, resulting in a broken collarbone and immediately made plans to return to Barcelona for surgery.

Speaking after his incident, Toomebridge rider Laverty said: "The afternoon practice went very well and I was doing really good lap times with good rhythm and was up in 13th position.

"So at the end we tried the soft rear tyre and I noticed it was taking more time to warm up, so I tried to be careful."

The Pull & Bear Aspar Ducati rider then explained the incident, and said: "On the first lap on the soft tyre, I crashed at the fast turn six when the rear tyre spun up. I was quite lucky in some ways because it was a huge crash. Thankfully the scan results were all clear and I will look to ride tomorrow.

"I'd like to thank the staff from the circuit at Motegi, the MotoGP doctors and the Clinica Mobile staff for taking care of me."

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