Belfast Telegraph

Eugene picks himself up from a downer

By Roy Harris

Saturday's Motul MotoGP of Assen wasn't a happy hunting ground for Eugene Laverty when he crashed out of the race on the 16th lap of 26, losing the front end of his Power Electronics Aspar Honda when in contention to be first Open Class machine home.

Fortunately uninjured, Eugene had a new swingarm in his machine for the weekend in Holland and despite being well pleased with the upgrade, he wasn't able to add to his points tally for the season.

Afterwards he commented: "Even though we were fighting for the Open Class win, it was only for 15th position. The important thing for me is that I was consistently fighting and pushing hard until I went down.

"In fact my fastest lap was the one prior to the crash. I had been experiencing problems with the front end of the bike and had several warnings on similar corners before I went down.

"It was just unfortunate. This was my first race crash this year and although it hasn't been a great weekend we head to the next round in Germany in a fortnight's time hoping for better fortune."

The race was won by Valentino Rossi after an epic last lap battle with Marc Marquez that saw the Repsol Honda rider make a desperate final corner attempt to overtake Rossi, making contact with the Movistar Yamaha and forcing Rossi to take to the gravel.

As Marquez got back under control,Rossi never shut the throttle and sailed across the gravel to get back on track and win by 1.242secs for his ninth win at Assen, his 85th Premier class victory, and increase his championship lead to 10 points over Saturday's third place finisher Jorge Lorenzo.

Closer to home on Saturday, during the eighth round of the Irish Superbike Championship at Bishopscourt, Gerard Kinghan raced to a double success at the Temple Club organised event.

In the first Superbike race, Kinghan had to fight tooth and nail to fend off David Haire with less than a second separating the pair at the chequered flag with championship leader Alistair Kirk third.

Randalstown rider Kinghan dominated race two, coming home four seconds ahead of Haire with Ryan Rainey a further two seconds back in third.

Kirk, who finished fourth in race two, now leads the championship by 19 points from Declan Hoey, who could only manage sixth and seventh place finishes on Saturday.

In the Supersport class, the two main championship contenders, Robert Kennedy and Robert English, scored a win and a second place each; Dundrod rider Kennedy just six points in front of English in the race for the title.

The Ulster Motocross Championship reached the halfway point at Tandragee and with championship leader Wayne Garrett side-lined for the rest of the season with a severe leg injury sustained in Cork recently during an Irish championship round, Portavogie rider Robert Hamilton (Risk Racing / GOMX Yamaha) won all three legs of the MX1 races to move within six points of new championship leader and defending Ulster Champion Richard Bird (Watt KTM).

Bird, from Lisburn, scored two second places and a third behind Hamilton on Saturday.

Meanwhile in the MX2 category, championship leader Glenn McCormick from Glenoe racked up a treble to move 40 points clear of 17-year old James Mackrell, who finished second behind the championship leader in all three legs.

Belfast Telegraph


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