Eugene Laverty says he hopes Max Biaggi
will be fit in time for the final World Superbike Championship round at Portimao after edging ahead of him in the battle for third overall.
The Irishman has taken advantage of Biaggi's absence, which has now stretched to six races, to catch him in the points' standings, Laverty's run to fifth in race one and third in race two placing him two points up heading to the final round.
However, rather than hope Biaggi doesn't recover in time for the event, thus assuring Laverty finishes his rookie Superbike season in third position overall, the Yamaha rider is hoping it will be a straight fight in Portugal.
"They were two very tough races,” he said. “I was fighting hard for a podium in race one but I was struggling quite a bit with the rear towards the end and it was either crash or settle for fifth and I chose the latter. In the second race the bike was feeling very strong. I tried to stay with Carlos and battle for a win but he's hard to beat this year and then Marco did a great last few laps and managed to overtake me.
“It's great to be back on the podium again and it's nice to have two Yamahas up here together. I'm delighted to be in third place in the championship but hopefully Max will be back in Portimao so we can battle for third overall."
Laverty has enjoyed an impressive maiden season as a Superbike rider, though his run to third in race two represents only his fifth podium finish of the year.