Belfast Telegraph

Laverty produces battling display in US showdown

By Roy Harris

Round ten of the MotoGP series took place yesterday at Indianapolis, USA, after a one month summer break with Michael Laverty riding the Paul Bird Motorsport Aprilia engined machine to an 18th place finish having started from the sixth row of the grid.

The tough 27-lap race saw Laverty drop back to 20th position on lap two, but by lap five the Ulsterman had regained one spot.

With ten laps to go his PBM team mate Jonny Hernandez retired promoting Laverty to 18th, his finishing position.

The race was won by 20-year old Spanish wonderkid Marc Marquez over three seconds clear of his Repsol Honda team mate Dani Pedrosa with defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo third.

British rider Cal Crutchlow was involved in a robust battle for fourth, which eventually went to Valentino Rossi from Crutchlow and Alvaro Bautista in a last lap bruising encounter.

In the Moto2 race another British rider Scott Redding finished in third position to extend his championship lead to 26 points.

Redding said: "I was looking to take the win, but the rear tyre ripped. All I was thinking was to beat Pol Espargaro and I managed to do that."

In what was a Spanish dominated Grand Prix Esteve Rabat won Moto2, Alex Rins Moto3 with Marquez taking MotoGP to go twenty one points clear of Pedrosa in the title chase with Lorenzo a further 14 points adrift in third.

Local rider Jeremy McWilliams was at the venue nicknamed the Brickyard where the ex-Grand Prix rider was taking part in two Harley Davidson races.

Fresh from winning at the North West 200 and then on his national road race debut taking a second place finish at Armoy, McWilliams won the first of the Harley races on Saturday afternoon with the second race taking place last night. Earlier, MotoGP organiser Dorna confirmed the series would return to Indianapolis next season for the final year of the track's existing contract and also that the two parties "have started discussions about a long-term relationship past the terms of the current contract".

Doug Boles, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, responded: "We are also eager to continue working with our friends at Dorna to ensure an exciting long-term future for MotoGP at the 'Racing Capital of the World'.

"I'm extremely pleased that MotoGP will be returning to iconic Indianapolis track in 2014.

"The Brickyard not only attracts a great crowd every year, but its heritage and history in the world of motor racing also helps grow the popularity of MotoGP in the United States and around the world."

Meanwhile, the first practice for the Manx Grand Prix, celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, was cancelled on Saturday evening with the first session for what is now known as the Classic TT taking place this evening from 6.20pm where John McGuinness and Michael Dunlop should be on the grid on classic machines to renew TT rivalry ahead of races starting on Saturday.

Belfast Telegraph

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