Laverty boys on a Super day out
Michael Laverty launched his challenge for the British Superbike Championship in style at Thruxton yesterday when he finished fourth in the second race after having taken 10th place in the first heat.
Laverty, riding for the TAS Suzuki team, had tyre problems in the first race but he produced the goods second time out and ended up in fourth place behind Cal Crutchlow, Shane Byrne and Michael Rutter who was riding the North West 200 Ducati.
Rutter, in fact, had two third places.
Laverty's brother John finished 10th in this race and this gave him a first place in the Superbike Cup which is run alongside the Superbike.
In the first race John Laverty was 12th and this gave him another first place in the Superbike Cup.
It was in fact a great day for the Laverty brothers and afterwards Michael said: "I had major problems in the first race when the tyres spun in the rims and threw the bike off balance. But in the second race I had a good run and I'm delighted to have finished so close to the three in front of me."
As for Michael's brother, John, he said: "After the troubles I had at the beginning of the series when my Superstock bike wasn't accepted, I feel vindicated in moving to the Superbike class and running with the Superstock bike.
"This slowed me down and I'm going to alter my machine so that I can get a better performance in the next round.
"The fact that I was running with all the top stars, including my own brother, was very satisfactory."
Shane Byrne was first in the opening race and Cal Crutchlow second.
Then in the second Superbike race, Cruchlow was first and Byrne was second while Rutter was third.
"This was a good result with the North West coming up," said Rutter. "It's nice to get on the podium in the first round and hopefully it can only get better from now on.
"I'm really looking forward to the North West and before you know it practice will soon be upon us. However, I have Oulton Park to look forward to as well as Brands Hatch where the round which was snowed off will be run the week before the North West."
Marty Nutt had a successful day when finishing third in the RI Cup with Adrian Coates fifth.
In the Supersport, Steve Brogan was first, Glenn Richards second and Chris Martin third. Ian Lowry was fifth, Nutt seventh and Ian Hutchinson eighth.
The Superstock saw a tremendous finish from Aussie Cameron Donald who had the fastest lap of the race in finishing third again on the TAS Suzuki machine.
Steve Brogan won the race from Jack Kirkham.
Marshall Neill was only just beaten for third. Conor Cummins was sixth and Alastair Seeley seventh.
There was joy for Magherafelt rider Paul Jordan who gained his first ever win in this competition, taking the 125cc class with Michael Wilcox second.