Motorcycling: Laverty holds off Biaggi's challenge to secure first victories
Monday 09 May 2011
Northern Ireland's Eugene Laverty broke his World Superbike duck in emphatic fashion in powering to a double victory at Monza yesterday afternoon.
The Yamaha rider took an unflustered maiden WSBK win in race one before benefiting from a penalty handed to the long-time leader Max Biaggi in race two.
The championship leader Carlos Checa suffered a difficult day, finishing ninth and 10th on his Althea Ducati as his lead in the overall standings was reduced to 27 points by Laverty's team-mate Marco Melandri. Laverty is up to fifth place on the back of his perfect result.
Laverty took the lead in race one at the start of the second lap and had a tough task fending off Biaggi's Aprilia, which had the edge on the straights. But Laverty had the advantage into the braking zones and Biaggi's threat finally receded when a string of errors saw him lose time that he was unable to recover.
Biaggi held station to come home in second with Britain's Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) in third, just ahead of Melandri.
Race two was settled in a fine contest between Yamaha team-mates Laverty and Melandri, but not before Biaggi was penalised for cutting a chicane. The Italian was comfortably leading by five seconds when he made the error midway through the 18-lap race, which triggered a ride-through penalty that set up a grandstand finish between the competing Yamahas.
Laverty's charge back into contention had been particularly impressive after his entanglement in a multi-bike accident on the opening lap – triggered by – dropped him to ninth.
But the 24-year-old mounted a thrilling comeback to latch on to the tail of Melandri in the closing stages, and his recovery was completed in thrilling fashion in the final corner as he passed the sister Yamaha to claim a victory to eclipse his first. Third place went to Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare).
Newcastle manager taunted again as his side loses to Stoke
Arsenal vs Tottenham player ratings: Mesut Ozil? Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? Nacer Chadli? Who was the star man at the Emirates?
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
Cristiano Ronaldo banner: This is how the Real Madrid striker reacted to the stunt by Manchester United fans
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: 'Come home' banner flown over Real Madrid match
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before a character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so