Day of contrasts for unlucky Laverty

Saturday, 15 September 2018 14:21 GMT

The Aprilia rider added a third Superpole to his WorldSBK career, but was taken out of action two turns into Race One

A day that was shaping up to be near-perfect for Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) turned sour barely twenty seconds into Race One. On Friday the Irish rider had been amongst the fastest at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve and on Saturday morning he confirmed those good feelings on the RSV4 by taking his first Tissot Superpole since 2013.

It was the best return imaginable for Laverty in Round 10 of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship: a chance to climb to the top of the rostrum for the first time in four and a half years, at the scene of his first WorldSBK win on the RSV4.

“To get pole position was incredible, honestly”, Laverty comments. “Last time at Misano we were on the podium, we were also on the front row, but Kawasaki had such an advantage over us – three quarters of a second for a one lap pace – that to get pole position here was a big surprise for me. A 1’40 lap time… I honestly didn’t think it was possible”.

But the dream lasted those two hours between Superpole 2 and lights out for the race. A slow start caused Laverty to quickly fall behind fellow front row starters Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati). Then, a few seconds later, Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) was unable to stop his bike going through turn 2, crashing into the side of Laverty’s RSV4 and taking both men out of contention.

“I was confident I could be there on the podium again, but we never got to show our potential”, the Aprilia rider laments. “It makes it tough for tomorrow because we have to start from tenth position, but that’s how it is sometimes. I’ll try to carve my way through the first few laps”.

Catch all the highlights from today’s Superpole and Race One thanks to WorldSBK VideoPass.