Voltcom Crescent Suzuki racer Eugene Laverty took a hard-fought-for seventh place at the Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’ in Italy today in the second of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship races.
Having slipped back in the first race due to a complication with his previous foot injury, Laverty displayed a strong and determined performance for the day’s second outing. He fought with a number of riders and initially dropped to 10th place at the beginning of the afternoon’s contest, but the Irishman dug deep to regain positions, crossing the line in seventh to score a further nine championship points.
Laverty rode a solitary race on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R for the majority of the first outing, but set his fastest time of the morning’s race on his 17th revolution of the Italian circuit. Having damaged his already injured right foot in the opening laps, he slipped back and considered retiring from the race, but regrouped, adjusting his riding position towards the latter stages and reigniting his race to regain his grid position: Although he was swiftly-closing the gap to Ducati’s Davide Giugliano, Laverty ultimately ran out of laps as the chequered flag was raised, finishing ninth.
Alex Lowes showed impressive pace in both of the day’s races, racing to eighth this afternoon after a crash in the morning’s action. Recording a 1’36.621 on his ninth lap of the opening race, Lowes had been quickly-closing the gap to Honda’s Jonathan Rea for eighth position before a fall at ‘Turn 5’ on lap 13 saw him leave the fight early.
A difficult start to the second race left the Englishman circulating in 11th but his consistent pace on the Suzuki GSX-R allowed him to challenge the fight for fifth position, claiming seventh by lap 14 and narrowly losing-out to his team-mate at the flag to take the eight points.
Despite an overcast start to the day, race one maintained the weekend’s high temperatures of 29°C with the track already topping 38°C and, as the skies cleared, the afternoon saw track temperatures peak at 44°C. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes took a double win, with team-mate David Salom reflecting the achievement in the EVO class.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will continue its championship fight in two weeks’ time at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Portimao in Portugal on July 6th after a break from racing sees the team attending the Goodwood Festival of Speed from June 27th-29th.
“That was definitely not the easiest of days! In race one, a few laps in at turn five while I was pushing on the footrest I felt something snap inside my foot. There was a lot of pain and I struggled to ride for the next five laps but I didn’t want to pull in so I just adjusted my foot and for the last five or six laps I was able to ride again and start pushing. For the second race I sought medical attention which allowed me to ride in a different way – I had to keep my foot in a strange position on the footrest but at least that allowed me to fight and race, because I thought I wouldn’t be able to race again. It’s unfortunate because I thought the foot was coming ok; it’s ok to walk, but to ride the bike the break is exactly at the point I need to push on the footrest and I think I’ve done more damage now than originally. I’ll do my best to be as strong as I can be in Portimao and hope we can get the GSX-R close to the front.”
“I’m really disappointed with the first race, I made a mistake but I was riding quite well. In the second race I did my best and got an eighth place, which I can’t really be happy with but I worked hard. It’s all experience for me, I still need to adjust my riding style for the hot temperatures but it’s my first time here on the Superbike and I felt I held my own. We still have improvements that we need to make both for me and my understanding of the GSX-R and how to get the best from it but I’m looking forward to Portugal. We had a good test there before the season started so hopefully we can continue to improve and come back fighting at Portimao.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“A tough weekend all in all! This championship is so competitive; if you miss just a small percentage of your best performance it makes a good result impossible. Both riders made a huge effort and Eugene did very well to race in the second outing – he was clearly in a lot of discomfort. We have a good consistency on worn tyres but both riders struggle to use the grip of a new tyre at the start of the race, so this is our biggest focus in terms of improvement.”
Misano – eni FIM World Superbike Championship – Race One: 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 33’46.932: 2. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) +5.012: 3. Marco Melandri (Aprilia) +6.417: 4. Chaz Davies (Ducati) +7.783: 5. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) +16.248. 9. Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) +26.842. DNF - Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki).
Misano – eni FIM World Superbike Championship – Race Two: 1. Sykes 33’55.695: 2. Baz +3.083: 3.Melandri +3.413: 4. Guintoli +5.092: 5. Jonathan Rea (Honda) +18.975. 7. Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) +20.17. 8. Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) +20.439.
World Championship Classification: 1. Sykes 251: 2. Guintoli 212: 3. Baz 210: 4. Rea 199: 5. Melandri 179. 9. Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) 106. 11. Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) 88.