Crash

WSBK – Laverty escapes injury in huge Race One off at Imola

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Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty emerged unscathed from a dramatic, and fast, racing incident during Race One at Imola.

Saturday’s Superpole sessions were promising for the Milwaukee Aprilia rider, with Laverty qualifying an encouraging P6 after going straight to Superpole 2 from Free Practice.

Laverty made a good getaway and quickly took fifth place, and although he couldn’t manage the pace of the top four he ran well in the middle of the field, enjoying battles with the Ducati of Fores and the MV Agusta of Camier.

As his pace dropped Laverty fell into the clutches of the Yamahas of Van der Mark and Lowes, defending well against both until a late move from Lowes resulted in a contact of the bikes.

Laverty’s bike suffered a broken front brake line and he was unable to slow as he approached Turn 17 – he managed to jump from his bike at high speed and avoided a collision with the wall, while his bike burst into flames on impact.

Laverty said: “I was optimistic at the start because the bike was feeling good, but I started losing pace after about 7 lap and I was moving backwards. I tried hanging in, and just before the crash happened the bike started to feel good again.

“We didn’t have much rear grip today. It was good at the start and then went away, but then it came back in the middle of the race which was strange. That’s something we need to look closely at, at times I felt I could really push but it was disappointing to see other guys coming past.

“I’m OK after the crash and I thought it would hurt me more, but my gear did its job and I’m ready to get on the bike again tomorrow. It’s hard to know how tomorrow will go, obviously there are positives to take from today but we have to analyse where we’re struggling.”

Laverty visited the Medical Centre for precautionary checks but has been deemed fit to race on Sunday.

Road racing – jammed throttle costs McGuinness and Honda dear at NW200

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A stuck throttle saw John McGuinness lose control of his Fireblade at the NW200, with the veteran crashing out of the Superbike practice session and breaking his leg in the process.

The technical gremlin struck as McGuinness entered Primrose corner, and the 43-year-old was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital with a suspected broken right leg.

He has since had his tib and fib plated and will miss this year’s Isle of Man TT.

The crash has also played havoc with Guy Martin’s pre-TT preparations. The Lincolnshire maverick was using the NW200 as a practice for the TT, but his Honda Racing team withdrew Martin from the Superstock race on safety grounds.

The news marked a miserable opening to the NW200 for Honda – Bruce Anstey also withdrew from the Superstock race as ‘he wasn’t comfortable on the bike’.

MotoGP – Silverstone dejà vu for Marquez during qualifying

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Honda’s Marc Marquez suffered more Silverstone heartache after once again crashing in front of the Valentino Rossi stand.

The Spaniard had shown great pace and had recorded the fastest time both in the morning’s dry FP3 and in the afternoon’s wet FP4, and was improving his best qualifying effort when he crashed at Copse, causing him to miss the last five minutes of the session.

The current championship leader took a heavy impact and looked winded, standing at the side of the track to watch the rest of the session, but his lap was still good enough to place him fifth on the grid. The incident echoed his crash in last year’s race, when he lost the front at the same corner.

He said: “My feeling was very good both in the dry and wet, but we implemented a small change to the set-up for the rain that didn’t work as expected.

“I went out in Q2 and couldn’t feel the rear tyre too much, nor did I have the confidence I had in FP4, but I decided to push and try to do a good lap.

“When I was about to do the next, final lap, I ended up crashing. Nevertheless, I’m pleased because in general the feeling was very good and we just need to return to the previous setup tomorrow.”

MotoGP – Baz crash data reveals 29g impact

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Italian kit manufacturer Alpinestars has released date gathered from its leathers as Loris Baz suffered his 180mph crash during testing at Sepang.

The Avintia Racing rider, crashed at a speed of around 290 km/h during the morning session of the opening session of Tuesday’s test when a technical failure on his Ducati caused him to lose control mid-way down the circuit’s main straight.

According to the data, Baz was launched from the bike after 1.9 seconds, which is when his Alpinestars Tech-Air Race airbag system, housed within his leather suit, deployed. The first impact with the track took place just 60 milliseconds later with the highest energy impact recorded at 29.9g’s on his left shoulder.

From the moment the Frenchman impacted the track, the duration of the slide lasted for 6.6 seconds.

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Despite the speed and level of impact force associated with the crash, Baz walked away unscathed and was able to and resume testing.