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Eugene Laverty airlifted to Bangkok intensive care for injury assessment

 

By Jim Gracey

World Superbike racer Eugene Laverty was last night admitted to an Intensive Care Unit at a Bangkok hospital for further injury assessment following his crash in Thailand on Sunday.

The Toomebridge rider was flown 250 miles by helicopter yesterday from a local hospital in Buriram where the crash happened in Sunday's WSB round.

He came off his Milwaukee Aprilia in race two on lap four and was hit from behind by Spain's Jordi Torres.

Laverty, the 2013 championship runner-up, sustained a broken pelvis in the incident and was taken to Buriram Hospital where the 31-year-old underwent an operation on Sunday night for a 'minor internal injury'.

His wife Pippa said: "Eugene made it to the Bangkok hospital safe and sound. He is spending the night in the Intensive Care Unit and will have more checks tomorrow, then we will make a recovery plan."

Laverty is expected to be out of action for weeks, rather than months as first feared.

The rider felt well enough to thank fans for their well wishes, saying: “Thanks everyone for the encouraging messages. Broken pelvis won’t keep me away for long. I had a successful op last night in Buriram for some internal damage so we’re on the road to recovery.”

Laverty, now in his second season with Shaun Muir’s Milwaukee Aprilia team after re-joining the Championship after two years in MotoGP, had made an encouraging start to the season.

He qualified second fastest for the opening race of 2018 last month at Phillip Island in Australia, finishing eighth after he was slowed by a front tyre issue.

In race two in Australia, Laverty was leading when he crashed out. He managed to return to the pits for some repair work and ventured back onto the track, eventually crossing the line in 15th place to earn a Championship point.

At the weekend, he headed the times in the second free practice session on Friday before qualifying eighth fastest for Saturday’s first race.

Laverty completed the race in ninth position after he was forced to slacken his pace due to a fuel problem with the Aprilia.

Round three of the Championship will be staged at Motorland Aragon in Spain from April 13-15.

Laverty is obviously a doubt for Aragon as the Championship heads to Europe for a run of five straight rounds, with the Northern Ireland rider’s recovery expected to take several weeks.

A statement issued by his Milwaukee Aprilia team said: “Eugene will need a few weeks to recover, so we will wait to see his fitness for Aragon.”

Meanwhile, Valentino Rossi says he is still suffering under acceleration as changes to the set-up of his Yamaha’s electronics failed to yield the desired results on day two of MotoGP testing in Thailand.

He said: “It was a tough day. We started quite well in the morning, and I did some good lap times. After that we had some work to do and something to try, and I didn’t like it a lot.

“We tried some things with the electronics and with the settings, but unfortunately didn’t find an improvement. We also had some work to do for Michelin.

“It was a tough day. Now we have to concentrate and speak with the guys.”

Belfast Telegraph

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