British Superbike Championship: Michael Laverty’s title hopes take nosedive
Michael Laverty’s dream of lifting this season’s British Superbike Championship suffered a major blow yesterday, during the penultimate round at the all-new Silverstone Arena GP circuit.
After a race one podium in third place, the Relentless by TAS Suzuki pilot crashed out of the lead in race two and now trails series leader Tommy Hill by 19 points.
BSB race one required a restart due to inclement weather conditions, but after leading in the early laps on a patchy circuit, 28-year-old Laverty had to give way to HM Plant Honda’s Josh Brookes and veteran Ducati rider Michael Rutter. Rutter eventually took the victory from Brookes with Laverty five seconds down in third — but more importantly for the Ulsterman, series leader Tommy Hill could only manage eighth place on the Worx Crescent Suzuki.
Carrick’s Alastair Seeley came through from his fourth row grid slot to take an impressive sixth place for Relentless Suzuki, but Antrim’s John Laverty was not so fortunate, crashing his Buildbase Kawasaki on the second lap.
Starting race two only eight points off the championship lead, gave Laverty the incentive he needed to leave Silverstone top of the pile.
But after storming into the lead, Laverty crashed at turn one, ending his day prematurely. The reduced 10-lap race victory went to James Ellison [Swan Honda] with HM Plant Honda duo Ryuichi Kiyonari and Josh Brookes second and third.
A down-hearted Laverty said afterwards: “I felt like I went into turn one pretty carefully, but just as I got on the throttle it came right round on me, and I was on the ground before I knew it.”
With just three races and one round remaining in the 2010 series, Laverty [570 points] drops from second to fourth in the championship, now 19 points behind Tommy Hill at the top of the table.
Belfast lad Nikki Coates took a debut victory in the National Superstock 600 series, but in the Supersport class, Ian Hutchinson, a five-time winner at this year’s TT Races, suffered a compound fracture of his left tibia and fibula after an opening lap incident.