Double Hat-Trick For Hero Laverty
Ulsterman Michael Laverty placed himself firmly in the record books with a superb treble win in front of a bumper home crowd at the Sunflower International Trophy meeting this weekend.
Making his debut on the MonsterMob Ducati F04 Superbike after racing for the team in the British Supersport Championship all season, the 23 year old from Toomebridge beat a number of established stars as he romped to a hat-trick of victories, including the prestigious feature race whereby he saw off the challenge of MonsterMob Ducati team mate John McGuinness and fellow countryman Marty Nutt.
It was the third successive year that Laverty has lifted the crown following on from his success on a TAS Suzuki in 2003 and the year previous on Joe Millar's Honda 500cc vee twin, and as a result, joins the only other triple winner Brian Morrison in the record books.
As well as taking a comprehensive victory in the Sunflower International Trophy race, Laverty came home ahead of Tom Sykes in both Irish Superbike Championship races with McGuinness claiming a third and a fourth for the Penrith-based team.
What's more, such was the magnitude of Laverty's performances, that team boss Paul Bird is seriously considering giving the young County Antrim rider a berth in his two man squad for the 2005 British Superbike Championship.
"I've had a good day and it all went to plan" said Laverty afterwards. "I thought John McGuinness would clear off but that wasn't the case and I just rode my own races and got the results. Everything worked out well and I'd like to say a big thank you to Paul and the team for giving me this opportunity. Hopefully, I've rewarded them with the three race wins."
Indeed, Bird was more than happy for his young protege whom he guided to third place in the British Supersport Championship aboard the brand new 749cc Ducati this season:
"I've been very impressed with Michael's riding this season and this has been the icing on the cake. He exceeded all of our expectations and now I've got to seriously consider him in our plans for 2005. He gave us as many wins in a day as we've had all season and the way he's gone about his business has been meticulous" enthused the Cumbrian businessman.