Belfast Telegraph

Laverty set to rest and recover after bad crash


By John Hutchinson

Eugene Laverty has been ruled out of action for 'a number of weeks' following a frightening crash in yesterday's second World Superbike race in Thailand.

The Milwaukee Aprilia rider slid off on lap four and was struck from behind by Spain's Jordi Torres, who also crashed in the incident.

There was initial concern after Laverty was unable to feel his feet, according to team boss Shaun Muir, but the feeling returned and later diagnosis revealed the 31-year-old had sustained a broken right-hand side pubic ramus bone.

Laverty was treated at Buriram Hospital but did not require surgery for the injury, as the bone is not weight-bearing.

However, the Northern Ireland rider - who finished ninth in Saturday's opening race at the Chang International Circuit - will now require an 'intensive recuperation period'.

In a statement issued yesterday evening, team principal Muir said: "It was cruel luck for Eugene today. We made significant improvements overnight and his times in morning warm-up showed that he had strong pace for race two.

"The injuries he sustained in his crash on lap four are serious enough that he will be sidelined for a number of weeks, but it's too early to say for how long.

"The focus today is to get Eugene stable and back home as soon as he is fit to travel."

Meanwhile, world champion Jonathan Rea is back in familiar territory as the factory Kawasaki rider moved to the top of the championship standings.

Rea won Saturday's first race by one-and-a-half seconds from Spaniard Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Ducati), with Chaz Davies completing the top three on the Aruba Ducati.

It was the triple World Superbike champion's sixth victory in seven races in Thailand, but Rea could not repeat the trick yesterday, when a battling fourth place was the best the Co Antrim rider could muster.

Nonetheless, Italian Marco Melandri, who dominated at the first round with a double on the Aruba Ducati at Phillip Island, lost his championship lead as he struggled to eighth and seventh respectively.

The former MotoGP contender has now slipped into second place, albeit only two points behind Rea, who was left to rue brake problems from the beginning of the race.

"It was very difficult and it's no secret that we ran into brake problems from pretty much the end of lap one," said Rea.

"Right through to lap 13, I was actually considering coming into the box because I had the maximum adjustment on my brake lever, and it was still coming back to the bar with four fingers.

"Around lap 14 or 15, the pressure seemed to come back and I was able to manage better," he added.

"We were able to be quite fast again and with a win and fourth from the weekend, we have to be happy with that.

"I'm looking forward to going to Europe now and slowly but surely we are building a better relationship with the bike."

Meanwhile, Andrew Irwin from Carrickfergus finished 20th in the World Supersport race in Thailand as he made his debut for Simon Buckmaster's PTR Honda team.

The young prospect was forced to miss the opening round at Phillip Island with a hand injury sustained during testing.

How they finished

World Superbikes, Thailand, Race 1: 1 J Rea (Kawasaki) 31m 24.203s; 2 X Fores (Ducati) +1.550s; 3 C Davies (Ducati) +2.118s; 4 L Camier (Honda) +2.981s; 5 A Lowes (Yamaha) +7.258s; 6 T Sykes (Kawasaki) +7.501s; 7 M VD Mark (Yamaha) +8.500s; 8 M Melandri (Ducati) +10.184s.

Race 2: 1 C Davies (Ducati) 31m 23.406s; 2 M VD Mark (Yamaha) +2.185s; 3 A Lowes (Yamaha) +3.884s; 4 J Rea (Kawasaki) +6.554s; 5 X Fores (Ducati) +8.973s; 6 L Camier (Honda) +10.647s; 7 M Melandri (Ducati) +17.523s; 8 T. Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki) +21.618s.

Next round: Motorland Aragon, Spain, April 13-15.

World Championship Standings:

Driver: 1 Jonathan Rea (Gbr) Kawasaki 69pts, 2 Marco Melandri (Ita) Ducati 67, 3 Javier Fores (Spa) Ducati 60, 4 Chaz Davies (Gbr) Ducati 57, 5 Alex Lowes (Gbr) Yamaha 48, 6 Michael van der Mark (Ned) Yamaha 45, 7 Tom Sykes (Gbr) Kawasaki 43, 8 Leon Camier (Gbr) Honda 42, 9 Loris Baz (Fra) BMW 21, 10 Topak Razgatlioglu (Tur) Kawasaki 18 Team: 1 Ducati 95pts, 2 Kawasaki 78, 3 Yamaha 52, 4 Honda 42, 5 Aprilia 23, 6 BMW 21, 7 MV Augusta 14

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