High Fives for Laverty at Knockhill
Stobart Motorsport rider Michael Laverty weighed in a pair of fifth place finishes in round eight of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship held at a warm and sunny Knockhill in Scotland today.
After qualifying on row two of the grid on the VK and Vent Axia backed Honda Fireblade, the 25 year old Ulsterman was hoping to repeat the podium placing of 2005 but after a good start in the opening race, he faded back but held onto fifth at the end of the hectic thirty laps. In race two, Laverty battled in the chasing pack and repeated his feat to consolidate his seventh place in the standings.
"Two fifth places is not too bad but I think I could have done better. In the first race my lap times dropped and they just pulled away from me. I had a better tyre in race two but got a bad start and the leaders had already gone so I didn't get a chance to run with them. With a couple of laps to go, Tommy Hill passed me and I couldn't get him back so I'm disappointed to have lost fourth in the end. I think I can improve a bit more and hopefully get on the rostrum again" said Laverty.
Meanwhile team mate Michael Rutter couldn't repeat his double podium of last season and struggled to a pair of lowly points scoring finishes. In race one, the Leicestershire rider ran wide and into the gravel at the Hairpin before recovering to 13th place and in race two, he toughed it out to eventually end up in 10th. As a result, Rutter dropped to ninth in the championship chase:
"I'm really disappointed. We had to adjust the brake on the warm up lap in race two and I ran on in the first race, but apart from that everything else was great. I'm looking forward to Oulton Park now" said Rutter.
Team owner Paul Bird commented: "It's not been a bad day really. Two top five positions for Laverty was good against factory machinery especially with Knockhill being a difficult circuit. Michael (Rutter) was disappointing and he had a poor day by his standards."
The next round of the Championship takes place next weekend at Oulton Park, Cheshire.