Laverty: "Imola was the most physical race of my career"

Friday, 18 May 2018 10:32 GMT

Irish rider endures tough return from injury in Italy

Following a horror crash in Thailand which left Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) sidelined with injury for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s return to Europe, he swung his leg back over the RSV4 for the first time in the Pata Italian Round last weekend.

Breaking his pelvis in Thailand’s race two, Laverty has been focusing on returning with full levels of fitness as he also had some internal injuries to contend with. Setting his first goal of Donington Park, he progressed so quickly that he was able to ride once again in Italy – two weeks ahead of his initial benchmark.

Putting his fitness truly to the test around the demanding Autodromo Internazionale Enzo d Dino Ferrari di Imola, the Irishman had a difficult weekend and really felt the force of the WorldSBK machines around the 4.9km circuit. “It was probably the most difficult and physical of my career, very enjoyable as I wanted to get back on the horse but not the easiest circuit to return from injury, Imola is the toughest track on the calendar and I was far from 100% fit.”

Struggling to find top ten pace in Saturday’s race one – after a hard fight in Superpole – the 31 year old spent Saturday night ensuring his fitness levels were back up ahead of the all important race two on Sunday, not pushing himself too hard. “I was completely busted and destroyed after the race on Saturday and trying to recuperate.”

Securing a top nine in Sunday’s race, he was involved in some tough duels out on track, and put on a good show for the Italian fans. “We improved the bike on Saturday night and made it much more manageable for race two, whilst we weren’t very fast I was at least able to maintain my pace and that’s all we could ask for.”

Continuing to improve day by day, Laverty now looks ahead to his home round at Donington Park, where both his fitness and the pace of his bike will be improved: “Donington is a much more flowing track, which suits the Aprilia. Any track that has a similar layout to Phillip Island works well with our bike, so fingers crossed we can be much closer to the front so let’s hope for a better result there.”

Follow all Laverty’s progress as he continues on the road to recovery, all with the WorldSBK VideoPass as the paddock heads to the Prosecco DOC UK Round.