Eugene Laverty's admits he is disappointed to miss out on third position in the World Superbike Championship standings by a single point, but accepts his season could have ended in very different circumstances had he not prevented a potentially spectacular crash in race one.
The Irishman was looking good to keep Max Biaggi behind him in the battle for third overall after qualifying on the front row for the two races, but a mistake under braking on lap three would launch the Yamaha into a vicious high-side.
Remarkably, Laverty got the bike back under control, marginally missing both his team-mate Marco Melandri and Jonathan Rea, but the ferocity would cause the damper to break, necessitating a visit to the pit lane.
Undeterred, Laverty regained his confidence for race two and led for three-quarters of the race before being overhauled by Melandri, a move that would ultimately cost him third in the standings as he ended the year level on points with his rival, only to lose out on count-back.
"Well it was a great end to the season for Yamaha with a one two race finish in race two. It's been a fantastic year and I'd like to thank Yamaha and all the team for that. Obviously it would have been great to finish up with one more point to get third in the championship, but unfortunately I lost out on a lot of points in race one.
“I had an issue with the bike on lap three, coming into the VIP tower corner when the rear of the machine came off the ground and the bike suddenly snapped sideways. I was lucky not have crashed and managed to stay on the bike but the viciousness of the incident broke the steering damper and I had to come back in and have it changed. It's a pity as the pace was quick and I could have definitely been on the podium."
With Yamaha withdrawing from World Superbikes, Laverty has penned a deal with Aprilia to ride alongside Biaggi in 2012, the two-time race winner set to test the RSV-4 for the first time this week.