World Superbike Rookie, Eugene Laverty, put on a sensational display of race craft today to take a well earned double victory on his team’s home track in Monza. Today’s success signified not only Laverty’s maiden win but also his first podium finish to date in the 2011 World Superbike Championship.
Laverty got off to a perfect start from second position on the grid to immediately take the lead in race one. The World Superbike rookie temporarily surrendered the lead in lap six on entering the “ Prima Variante” but hastened to repossess first place on exiting the “Biassono curve”, leaving Max Biaggi second. Race two saw a masterful display of race craft. Laverty initially fell back to ninth position after encountering a three rider collision in the early stages of the first lap. Putting his head down, he got straight to work, making his way through the bunch of riders ahead to sit behind team-mate Melandri until the final lap where he snatched the chequered flag.
Marco Melandri was also on flying form in the hot temperatures the historic track in Monza had to offer. The Italian completed the first race of the day in fourth position just missing out on a podium by 0.009 of a second. In race two, a good start off fifth position on the grid saw Melandri push up to third place by lap seven. The determined Italian gradually closed in on fellow contenders ahead, until mid race when the leader, Biaggi made a mistake at the first chicane resulting in a ride through penalty by the race direction. This gave Melandri the lead on the 14th lap. The final laps of the adrenalin filled second race saw the two Yamaha World Superbike riders battling it out for the win. Melandri completed the race crossing the finish line in second place, while Laverty just beat him by three tenths of a second. Both Yamaha riders, Melandri and Laverty, scored the fastest speed of the second race reaching a high of 333Km/h.
Eugene Laverty leaves Monza with a total of 85 points having jumped up from ninth to sixth place in the Championship standings after today’s impressive performance. Marco Melandri is now sitting second in the classification with 118 points, just 27 points behind the current leader, Carlos Checa.
Eugene Laverty – Yamaha World Superbike Team – 1st, 1st
“I can’t believe I got a double victory today. I came here aiming for a podium and now I’m coming away with two incredible race wins. It’s fantastic. I didn’t get off to a good start in the second race. I had to avoid a collision on the first corner, causing me to lose time. I also struggled a little with the tyres in the hot conditions. When it came to the last few laps, I couldn’t believe my luck that it was just me and Marco in the lead. This double victory was particularly special to me, being the team’s home track.”