Eugene Laverty

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.

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MotoGP – stunning qualifying by Laverty lights up a wet Silverstone

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Eugene Laverty put in a spectacular performance in the wet at Silverstone to qualify in a sensational sixth place.

The Ducati rider had made it through to Q2 by dominating Q1, piloting his GP14 to lead the session, but a small bike issue at the start of the decisive second session cost him crucial tyre temperature and, ultimately, pole.

Laverty had looked good to claim a stunning pole in the treacherous conditions, looking smooth and fast throughout, and inside the time set by pacesetter Cal Crutchlow in the first two sectors of the final lap only to lose rear grip and crash out.

However, his pace was enough to earn him sixth place on the grid.

A delighted Laverty said: “The second row is our best ever qualifying so I have to be happy in some ways but our potential was so high there.

“At the start of Q2 I had some problems with the bike and I had to pit in, then the tyres got cold and I just couldn’t get the temperature back in, it was like I was riding around on ice. On the last lap I could see on the big screen that Cal had a big gap so I knew I had a good chance to be second but I thought “why not go for pole?”.

“I had a shot at it but unfortunately the tyre was too cold and I crashed. It wasn’t for not trying, that’s for sure. Still, it’s always nice to shine when you have so many people supporting you; a second row start is good for us and now I will hope for this rain to keep up! If it is dry I will just try and hang on near the front and a top ten result, as always, will be our goal.”

MotoGP – Laverty in special tribute to Doc John

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The MotoGP race at Sachsenring today saw Aspar’s Eugene Laverty sport a special helmet to pay tribute to Doc John Hinds who died at last weekend’s Skerries 100 road races in Ireland.

Laverty hopes that by wearing the helmet, a replica of Doc John’s helmet which was a familiar sight between the hedges on the road racing circuit, he can help raise awareness for Doc John’s campaign to get a medical helicopter for Northern Ireland – a petition was started following the accident to continue Dr Hinds’ campaign for HEMS NI which more than 45,000 people having signed to date.

Laverty said:  “Shoei made a one-off helmet and I wore it during the race as a tribute to John because he was a big hero to all of us back home. I first met John in 2010 and he was always on hand to help me if I needed any scans or advice and coming from Ireland

“I have lots of friends who race on the roads and he saved a lot of their lives by being straight on the scene.

“I had a lot of time for him but also it’s important to support HEMS [Helicopter Emergency Medical Service] for NI. I want to help raise awareness for that and the petition already has over 45,000 signatures and that was something that he worked very hard for.”

It’s hoped that Laverty will race in the special helmet again at Silverstone in a bid to raise even more signatures for the petition.

MotoGP – Aspar team loses main sponsor

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Last night the Aspar team was rocked by news that main sponsor Drive M7 is axing its financial support for the team.

The move comes as a body blow for the Aspar team as boss Jorge Martinez had only secured another two seasons worth of sponsorship from the energy drink company at the first Sepang test at the beginning of February.

With MotoGP starting tomorrow at Qatar it’s clear Martinez will have to move quickly to plug the €3 million shortfall.

At this stage it’s still unclear whether the withdrawal of Drive M7 also relates to the new SIC KTM Moto3 team from Malaysia, which runs KTM factory riders Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Jakub Kornfeil.  

MotoGP – Laverty ready to shine under Qatar’s floodlights

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After a packed preseason of testing at Sepang and Qatar, this weekend represents the moment of truth for Eugene Lavery as he heads back to Losail for the opening round of the 2015 World Championship.

The season’s only night race provides a fitting stage for the curtain-raiser to a campaign that promises much, with Drive M7 Aspar pilot Laverty  keen to prove he is competitive aboard the new ‘Open’ Hondas.

The World Supersport and World Superbike race winner said: “Pre-season testing has gone really well as we’ve made steady progress every time that I’ve ridden the bike. I’ve gelled really well with both the ‘Open’ Honda and the Drive M7 Aspar Team so I’m excited about the challenge that lies ahead of us.

“The final test at Losail finished really well, which bodes well for round one at the same circuit. It is difficult to say what my goal is in terms of overall position because the field is so strong this season.

“However, within the ‘Open’ category I want to be fighting for the top three positions from the beginning. I enjoy the Losail circuit and our bike suits the circuit very well so I want to start the season with a strong result.”

The season kicks off this weekend, with 2015’s first race being held on Sunday.

MotoGP – Laverty happy with Honda

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DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Eugene Laverty has made a huge leap forward after gelling with his open class Honda during the second day’s testing at Qatar.

The Irishman spent the day working on the bike’s geometry and electronics and improved his time by more than a second from yesterday, finishing in 18th place with a lap time of 1.56.342.

Laverty said he was feeling happy with the Honda. He said: “The bike works much better here than in Sepang, so yesterday I only had to adapt myself to the circuit without making major changes. Our work, both yesterday and today, has focused on the chassis to find the best possible balance. We have also done some electronics testing, but we still have things to do tomorrow. I’m happy with my feeling and also because today we could go faster than yesterday and set some positive lap times. I’m happy with this bike, it is stable and the tyre gives me confidence and allows me to brake hard. I hope tomorrow we can still improve a little more to finish the test on a high.”

MotoGP – Laverty optimistic despite lowly 23rd place

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DRIVE M7 Aspar Team rider Eugene Laverty finished the three-day test at Sepang in positive spirits despite finishing the session towards the foot of the time sheets.

The Irishman, who joins the series from WSBK, improved his lap time again yesterday to clock a 2’01.815 lap, putting him in a lowly 23rd position. However, a late change to the front suspension of his Open Class Honda RC213-VS racebike improved the rider’s feeling with the bike significantly and he is now looking forward to the next test in Qatar.

He said: “We didn’t manage to improve the lap time as much today as we had hoped but we have made progress with the setup of the bike. Today we completed a long run on used tyres which was very useful to measure our performance. We also learnt quite a lot about the performance of the bike over long distance and our pace and lap times were consistent. At the end of the day when the conditions were a little better we made a change to the front suspension which helped us to take another step forward. It was good to finish the test on a positive. The results of this second test here at Sepang give us cause for optimism. We have made quite a lot of progress, we still have a lot of work ahead but every time I ride the bike I feel that we are more prepared and I’m looking forward now to travelling to Qatar and continuing to work.”

MotoGP – Laverty improves braking and corner speed

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DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Eugene Laverty is slowly getting to grips with the customer Honda one class bike after posting his best ever lap around Sepang during day two of testing.

Laverty spent the day working on engine braking and chassis, improving his braking and corner entry, and his efforts were rewarded with his best ever lap time of 2’01.944, leaving him in 19th position on the time sheets.

He said: “Today was another very positive day. We have made some progress with the chassis set-up and now I feel like I can brake really hard. I still have to adapt my style for the faster corners because I am washing too much speed off into some of the turns. It is good that I can brake hard but I also have to be able to keep enough corner speed. The weather held off for us today and we were able to get a lot of work done and lower the lap time. We worked on improving the engine braking and now that I am starting to understand the electronics package I like it. I felt comfortable today, so tomorrow the aim is to complete a long run and see where we are.”

MotoGP – Laverty closes the gap

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DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Eugene Laverty is closing the gap to the rest of the field after a positive first day’s testing at Sepang.

Laverty spent the session working on the electronics and chassis of his customer Honda RC213V-RS and clocked his best laps during the hottest part of the day, posting a 2.02730 lap and finishing the day in 20th place.

He said: “The positive thing for me is that we are back testing at the same circuit, so this isn’t like the first day – more like the fourth. To have some prior information means that I can continue my learning process and have some much-needed consistency. We had some wet track time at Valencia but this was totally different, with a completely new bike. This afternoon was a good opportunity to find out how the electronics work in the wet and I was able to get a feel for the wet tyre performance. These tyres are different to anything I have tried in the past. We found a good way forward on the final day of the last test so today was a case of picking up where we left off.”

MotoGP – Laverty continues to improve

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DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Eugene Laverty finished the final day of testing in Sepang in positive spirits after improving his lap time by almost eight tenths of a second.

The Irishman set his best time two laps before the end of the day’s session as he continued the process of adapting his riding to suit the new RC213V-RS Honda racebike.

Laverty, who finished the day in 24th place with a time of 2min .02.334sec, was pleased with the three-day test but admits there is still a lot of work to do. He said: “The first day of the test was positive. Yesterday we did not find a clear direction and this morning we did, but it was still hard for us to lower our times. The changes to the bike have remained focused on the chassis, and I’m still looking for my best riding position. We continue to work on turning the bike, but the feeling on corner entry is progressively being better. We have improved the setup of the chassis and we are understanding how it works. However, every time we put on a new tyre we were unable to get the most out of it.  We will have to find out about this too. Today I had the opportunity to follow a few riders on track, and that helped me understand some things.”

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