Laverty eager to prove his six appeal and reach 'Showdown'
The ultra-fast 2.639-mile Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire sees the beginning of the second half of the British Superbike Championship and with just two rounds remaining after this weekend, the battle is on to secure a spot in the all-important top six and the 'Title Showdown'.
Currently outside the top six by some 33 points is Tyco BMW rider Michael Laverty, who has just one podium to his name this season.
He is out to better his 10th and 11th positions at Brands Hatch in the last round.
Laverty said: "I'm looking forward to the unique challenge of Thruxton.
"It's the fastest circuit we visit all season and one where we really get to stretch the legs of the Tyco BMW with fifth gear wheelspin the norm.
"Tyre life is always crucial here and we will immediately get to work on maximising that from first practice.
"The aim is still to be in the top six by the cut-off point, so two high points scores this weekend would help enormously."
Fellow Tyco BMW rider Keith Farmer takes a 13-point lead at the top of the Superstock 1000cc class into this weekend and the Clogher rider is keen to add to that advantage.
He said: "I like Thruxton and have had success there in the past. It's such a high-speed circuit with high-abrasive tar, so we need good throttle control and a good stable motorcycle for the fast turns."
The Thruxton speed bowl, with a lap record of 113.46mph, will see the Irwin brothers Glenn and Andrew on the PBM Be Wiser Ducatis in action with the former, currently third in the BSB Championship behind Leon Haslam and Jake Dixon, keen to secure victories and help secure a 'Title Showdown' position.
"I'm looking forward to grabbing a brace of podiums at least to narrow the gap on the Championship lead, our ultimate goal. Thruxton should suit our bikes, so the plan is to get to the front, conserve the tyres and if we can do that we have a good chance of winning," said a confident Glenn.
Andrew commented: "Thruxton is like no other circuit and we don't get to race or test there too often.
"It's new to me on a Superbike and I go there with the same goal, which is to get inside the top 10 in both races and continue my BSB learning process."
Closer to home, the penultimate round of the Irish Motocross Championship takes place at Seaforde MX Park tomorrow, promoted by the Mourne Club.
Defending MX1 Premier champion Richard Bird from Lisburn currently leads the series on his KTM by 57 points from Kawasaki-mounted rider John Meara.
The fight for third is still red-hot between Sean Devlin (Yamaha) and his team-mate Robert Hamilton, now Honda-mounted, with 19 points separating the pair.
Jason Meara dominates the MX2 Premier series, some 87 points ahead of fellow KTM rider Glenn McCormick.
Races across a wide variety of classes start from 11am tomorrow with the track signposted from opposite the Butterfly Farm on the main Ballynahinch to Clough road.
The latest rounds of the Dunlop Masters series take place at Mondello Park today and tomorrow, where the famous Leinster 100 and 200 trophies will be up for grabs with Richie Ryan and Emmett O'Grady favourites in the Superbike and Supersport classes.