Belfast Telegraph

MotoGP: Eugene Laverty in the points to keep alive hopes of being top 10 hit

By Paul Lindsay

Eugene Laverty finished 14th on a day when an eighth consecutive different winner was crowned at Misano - Dani Pedrosa joined Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi, Jack Miller, Marc Marquez, Andrea Iannone, Cal Crutchlow and Maverick Vinales on the list of riders to triumph in MotoGP's premier class in 2016.

Laverty, who boosted his chances of a top 10 finish overall by adding two points, said: "We had a consistent pace and I'm happy with that performance. 

"I made a good start, put in some good early laps and was able to ride on my maximum effort for the entire race," said the Pull & Bear Aspar Ducati rider.

Explaining his shortcomings, he added: "Unfortunately it wasn't quite enough today.

"When I followed Scott Redding and Hector Barbera, in particular, I realised that the problem we have is with turning the bike. We struggled at turn one and turn five, and it meant that I lost a lot of time in the tight sections. That is where we struggled this weekend and where we have to improve."

Laverty started from 16th place on the grid, and although he managed to climb a couple of places in the early laps, he never rose above 14th place.

The Ulsterman added two points to his haul and continues an almost immaculate scoring streak, only marred by the zero score in the Austrian Grand Prix. The Toome rider is still in the fight for the top 10, trailing by 12 points.

Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo had looked most likely to take the win, but Pedrosa surprised both of them with his pace and took the lead with seven laps remaining.

The Repsol Honda rider would go on to win by two seconds over Rossi, who cut seven points from the gap in the overall standings to Marquez, which currently stands at 43 with five races remaining.

The next round on the calendar is at Motorland Aragon, Spain on September 25, where Laverty will be hoping to push closer to the top 10 aboard his Aspar Ducati.

Five rounds remain in this season's MotoGP World Championship and Laverty is currently fourth in the independent rider and team standings.

British rider Cal Crutchlow, a winner at Brno on the LCR Honda and the second placed finisher at the British GP just over a week ago, tops the privateer standings on 93 points.

Pol Espargaro is in second place on 89 points, Hector Barbera on 81 and Laverty and his Aspar team are on 69.

Lorenzo Baldassarri took the Moto2 win for Forward Racing on the Kalex chassis, with Brad Binder the Moto3 winner for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team.

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