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WSBK Assen: Aprilia tweaks transform Laverty fortunes
28 April 2013
Eugene Laverty has described his second World Superbike Championship win of the season at Assen as 'important' after giving his title hopes a big boost back in the right direction.
Coming to the Netherlands determined to make amends for a double DNF last time out at Motorland Aragon, Laverty battled it out for second position in the first race, but would ultimately lose out to both Jonathan Rea and Sylvain Guintoli before the chequered flag, leaving him fourth.
Tweaking the Aprilia RSV4 between the races, Laverty was subsequently transformed for the second race as he settled in behind early leader Tom Sykes and pulled away from the chasing pack.
With Sykes providing an effective deflector for the gusting winds around them, Laverty was able to stay in touch with the runaway race one winner before pulling a critical move with three laps remaining. Proceeding to rebuff Sykes's attempts at responding, Laverty would hold on for his fifth career WSBK success.
“The little time we had with a dry track created a few problems in race one,” he said. “In fact, before the second race we made some changes to the RSV4, which we usually don't do because of how risky that is.
“Actually the changes they made worked really well. I had the right feeling even though I didn't think I would be able to stay with Sykes. But in the end I was able to keep up with his pace. In fact, his wash actually helped me out since there were some strong gusts of wind on the track. Four laps from the end I overtook Tom, even pulling away a few metres, but then the wind kept me from being too precise so he was able to cling back onto me.
Putting his disastrous Aragon round firmly behind him, Laverty is currently tied with Sykes and Chaz Davies for second in the overall standings, 28 points behind his team-mate Sylvain Guintoli.
“Winning was important. We back in the fight for the championship and we were able to leave the troubles from Aragón behind us.”