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WSS: Laverty snatches superb Silverstone win
1 August 2010
Eugene Laverty has kept himself in the hunt for the World Supersport title after a fighting – and tactical - ride to victory over Kenan Sofuoglu at Silverstone.
A must-win race for Laverty, who had slipped 22 points behind his main rival after failing to finish at Brno, the Irishman led for the first-half of the race as he fended off the early attentions of Gino Rea, who put in a spirited ride during the early laps.
However, it was Sofuoglu that was on a charge towards the end of the race, passing Rea and quickly latching onto the back of Laverty's Parkalgar CBR600RR.
The Turk pounced straight away with a block pass into Brooklands on lap eleven, but Laverty kept on the outside of his rival to dive back through into Luffield. Side-by-side with nothing between them down the straight, Laverty inched ahead, only to allow Sofuoglu back through shortly afterwards.
Explaining the decision to let his rival go in front, Laverty wanted to be the chaser heading into the final lap having noticed his rival was faster in the latter half of the lap. It was a risky tactic, but one that paid dividends as Laverty stayed close for the next six laps and dived past at Abbey.
Defending against Sofuoglu over the remaining corners, Laverty crossed the line for what is his sixth victory in ten races this year.
Reducing the margin at the top to 17 points, although it means Sofuoglu can still win the title if he finishes second at the remaining three rounds, it gives Laverty good motivation heading to the Nurburgring.
The title fight does, however, look to be down to just two riders after Joan Lascorz was involved in a terrifying accident with Roberto Tamburini on the first start.
Lascorz had entered Copse in the lead, but as the riders shuffled on the run up to Becketts, the front of his Kawasaki was clipped by Laverty as he swept in front of him. Sending him straight down, Lascorz was collected at substantial speed by fellow front row starter Tamburini.
The tangle sent both riders barrelling off the circuit – and in Tamburini's case into the barrier - while Lascorz's bike would catch fire in the impact. The race was immediately stopped while Lascorz and Tamburini were taken to the medical centre, where it has been confirmed Lascorz is suffering from concussion and Tamburini has a broken collarbone.
Behind Laverty and Sofuoglu, Rea completed a magnificent run to third position on home soil, the 20-year-old recording his first WSS podium for Intermoto Honda in the process and cementing his status as a future British racing star.
He was comfortably ahead of Chaz Davies, the Triumph man making it a strong race for the local riders as he crossed the line in fourth place having overhauled Robbin Harms late on.
A strong race for a number of riders, Miguel Praia lowered his WSS best with a run to sixth on the second Parkalgar Honda, ahead of Matthieu Lagrive, David Salom and Massimo Roccoli.
Of the wild-card riders, British Supersport leader Sam Lowes crept into the top ten in tenth for GNS Honda, while James Westmoreland was 11th and Billy McConnell 13th. Alex Lowes, who had qualified as the best of the guest contingent, came off his Yamaha shortly after the start.