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.