Belfast Telegraph

It’s Rea and Laverty at the double in Nurburgring

By Paul Lindsay

Jonathan Rea claimed his fourth win of the season in race one at the Nurburgring yesterday, leading from start to finish, before cruising to second place behind Nori Haga in race two.

And Eugene Laverty made it a Northern Ireland double when he bagged his seventh World Supersport victory of the season for his Parkalgar Honda team.

Rea is currently the in-form rider in WSBK — with six podiums, including three victories, in as many races — and tops the most wanted list by many team managers in the series.

“It was a great race and a great weekend for the team,” said Rea.

“Already on Friday we were right on the pace, we came out with a bike that was good, really pushed hard, I felt comfortable on it and turned it into a good result so I'm really proud of my team.”

On the second race, he added: “The pace was similar to the first race but Nori was fantastic, he rode an unbelievable race.

“It's quite frustrating when you see someone ride away from you like that.

“It was a great job for my team this weekend, 45 points overall and I'm really very happy.

“I'm very consistent now but it's so frustrating when I see my mid-season form.”

Max Biaggi has two rounds remaining — with 100 points up for grabs — to get through to win the title.

The Italian rode the factory Aprilia to fourth and fifth places at the Nurburgring. He managed to hold on to fifth on the Alitalia Aprilia even though he was dogged by Suzuki’s Sylvain Guintoli.

Biaggi now has a lead of 58 points over Leon Haslam, with Rea a further 51 back in third and Carlos Checa fourth, 64 in arrears of the Ballyclare man.

Meanwhile, Toomebridge’s Laverty’s world championship hopes were dealt a blow when Gino Rea was disqualified in the World Supersport race after his Intermoto Czech Honda was found to be in breach of the regulations.

As well as proving a bitter disappointment for Rea, who had pushed Laverty from start-to-finish, it also proves detrimental to Laverty’s title hopes as Kenan Sofuoglu is promoted to second place.

It means the Turk’s advantage in the standings grows to 13 points and means he can still finish second behind Laverty in the final two races — at Imola and Magny Cours — and win the title.

Laverty has also been in stunning form of late in the Supersport class and took his race by the scruff of the neck in the early stages, strategically pulling Intermoto Honda rookie Rea with him.

It was a smart move from Laverty who started the day 17 points behind series leader Sofuoglu, but with Rea impressively hanging on to Laverty’s coat tails throughout, Ten Kate Honda’s Sofuoglu had to settle for third place.

Laverty said: “We needed that win today but it was not easy.

“I knew I had to break Kenan, so I had to push the whole race and Gino came with me.

“Kenan is strong, particularly at Imola, but with Parkalgar Honda I have the bike, package and team to do it.”

Laverty is strongly rumoured to be joining the Yamaha World Superbike effort in 2011.

The chances are he will line up on the grid alongside fellow Ulsterman Rea, who despite other offers on the table, is expected to stay with the Dutch-based Ten Kate team for 2011.

This will continue Rea’s career-long association with Honda, who will hopefully honour that loyalty with a MotoGP move coming up in 2012.

Moira’s Ian Lowry made his World Superbike debut in Germany with Paul Bird’s Kawasaki Racing Team.

The 24-year-old scored points in race one, finishing 12th, but slid off in race two.

Belfast Telegraph


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