Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Eugene: I'll be back racing in May


By Jim Gracey

Eugene Laverty gives a thumbs up from his Bangkok hospital bed that shows he is good spirits and looking forward to a May comeback in World Superbikes after his crash in the Thai round at Buriram on Sunday.

Toomebridge man Laverty is resigned to missing the next three rounds of the championship due to his injuries.

Laverty came off his Milwaukee Aprilia in the second race at the Chang International Circuit and was struck by another competitor.

He was treated at Buriram Hospital, but was later flown by helicopter to hospital in Bangkok on Monday.

His wife Pippa issued a statement yesterday, revealing the 31-year-old had suffered two fractures of his pelvis, which will 'heal without surgical intervention'.

Laverty, though, did have a small operation on Sunday night to repair some internal injuries.

Meanwhile, in another major development yesterday, Ballymoney ace Michael Dunlop announced he will race at this year's North West 200 for Tyco BMW.

Laverty says he now hopes to return to action in time for his home round of the championship at Donington Park, which will take place from May 25-27.

"I'm obviously very disappointed that I will be forced to miss some races so early in the season, but I count myself lucky that my injuries are not worse," the Northern Irishman said.

"The initial fear of lying on the ground and not being able to move my legs was something that I've never felt before.

"I'm very fortunate to have a fantastic group of people around me from my wife Pippa, my brother John, who reacted fantastically during the key hours after the crash, and the entire Milwaukee Aprilia team who joined me in the hospital to make sure that I was in good hands. Due to my internal injuries, I will be restricted in the first month of my recovery but following that we will push hard to ensure that my pelvis heals.

"I'm aiming to get back on the bike at my home round at Donington Park."

World champion Jonathan Rea won race one in Thailand and finished fourth on Sunday to move to the top of the table.

The Larne man - who in 2017 became the first competitor to win the title in three consecutive years - leads Ducati's Marco Melandri by two points and is aiming to become the joint most successful rider in the history of the championship by winning a fourth world crown this year, which would see him draw level with Carl Fogarty.

The championship moves to Europe next month for a run of five races, starting with round three at Motorland Aragon in Spain from April 13-15.

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