PODIUM JOY FOR LAVERTY AT KNOCKHILL Stobart Honda rider Michael Laverty scored an historic first ever rostrum for himself and the new-look 2005 Paul Bird team when he finished in a superb third place in the opening race of the seventh round...
PODIUM JOY FOR LAVERTY AT KNOCKHILL
Stobart Honda rider Michael Laverty scored an historic first ever rostrum for himself and the new-look 2005 Paul Bird team when he finished in a superb third place in the opening race of the seventh round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Knockhill today.
The young Ulsterman saw off the challenge of a number of more experienced riders to claim the final rostrum placing following on from a pair of fourth places in the two previous rounds.
Laverty very nearly emulated the performance in race two but had to settle for fourth position at the end of thirty gruelling laps at the twisty Fife circuit which was graced with glorious sunshine all weekend.
"I've been saying I wanted to put it on the rostrum all weekend and I did it quite comfortably. I set a steady pace in the second race and I thought I could grab the rostrum but Greg (Lavilla) was stronger but I felt I could have fought a bit harder and sooner. We've improved the bike and I'm riding well and hope I can get on the rostrum again at Snetterton and we can push the HM Plant Hondas soon" said a delighted Laverty.
Meanwhile team mate Gary Mason could not quite match Laverty's performance on the VK, The Mob and Vent Axia backed Stobart Honda and recorded ninth and thirteenth place finishes.
"I just struggled to get set up all weekend. The boys tried their hardest and I tried my best but was too far back on the grid. I'm just disappointed but that's the way it goes" said Mason.
Team owner Paul Bird was elated with his young protege's performances: "Fantastic. Michael's performance today was just what the team needed and I'm really pleased for them and now I think a race win is just around the corner. At the start of the season we didn't know if we could even challenge for podiums but we're only half way through the season and now we feel we can run comfortably with the leading teams. We knew Gary would struggle around Knockhill because its not one of his stronger circuits and we can now move on to Snetterton and hopefully both riders can be challenging for rostrums and perhaps even race wins now."
The next round is at Snetterton in Norfolk in two weeks' time.
Bennetts British Superbike Race One Result
1, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 25m04.260s, 2, Michael Rutter (Honda) +12.538s, 3, Michael Laverty (Stobart Honda) +24.692s, 4, Glen Richards (Kawasaki) +26.361s, 5, Leon Haslam (Ducati) +26.732s, 6, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) +27.393s, 7, John Reynolds (Suzuki) +30.496s, 8, Karl Harris (Honda) +38.125s, 9, Gary Mason (Stobart Honda) +40.659s, 10, Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) 41.473s.
Bennetts British Superbike Race Two Result
1, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 25m06.287s, 2, Michael Rutter (Honda) +7.122s, 3, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) +15.522s, 4, Michael Laverty (Stobart Honda) +16.690s, 5, Leon Haslam (Ducati) +17.473s, 6, John Reynolds (Suzuki) +19.148s, 7, Glen Richards (Kawasaki) +21.524s, 8, James Haydon (Suzuki) +25.697s, 9, Jonathan Rea (Honda) +26.633s, 10, Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) +27.074s-- 13, Gary Mason (Stobart Honda) +32.220s.