Laverty takes stunning first victory

The Irishman showed excellent race craft to fend off the clear speed advantage of the Aprilia down the long straights.
Eugene Laverty has won his first World Superbike Championship race at Monza after his dogged defence of the lead from Max Biaggi was rewarded with a remarkable victory.

The Irishman took the lead at the start of the second lap, but while Biaggi repeatedly drafted alongside or even past him on the straights, Laverty calmly responded by being much stronger on the brakes and nudging back through.

His perseverance was rewarded mid-race when Biaggi bowed under pressure and made series of mistakes that caused him to lose crucial ground in the chasing pack. Though he recovered to second, Biaggi could not close the gap again.

A typically frenetic race, Biaggi – who had beaten Laverty to pole position by a clear six tenths – got away well, but was beaten into the first corner funnel by Troy Corser, while the rest of the field filed in behind them without incident.

Maintaining his place at the front through the duration of the opening lap, as expected Biaggi pulled alongside and slipped past the BMW as they crossed the finish line. However, both riders were caught unawares by Laverty, whose double slipstream propelled him up the inside into the first turn chicane.

From here, Laverty and Biaggi embarked on a tense toing and froing of the lead, Biaggi slipping past on lap three down the straight, only for Laverty to respond at Ascari around the outside and retake the position.

It would set the tone for the first-half of the race, Laverty getting better drive out of the long final bend, only for Biaggi to quickly recover the ground down the home straight. Crucially, however, it was rarely enough for him to be more daring on the brakes as Laverty, the Yamaha showing better anchors into the chicane.

Indeed, Laverty's strength on the brakes and through the bends was made evident when Biaggi drafted past at the start of lap seven, only to have Laverty edge back past on the outside of Rettifilo.

With seven laps remaining, the pressure eventually told on Biaggi as he missed the apex at Rettifilo and was forced to back off and trundle through the second half of the chicane. Immediately losing ground to Laverty, Biaggi was swallowed up by the chasing Leon Haslam and Marco Melandri, dropping him to fourth.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Laverty, Monza WSBK 2011
Laverty, Monza WSBK 2011
Laverty, Monza WSBK 2011
Laverty, Monza WSBK 2011
Laverty, Monza WSBK 2011
Laverty, Monza WSBK 2011
Stefan Bradl, Honda, World Superbikes [Credit: Honda WSBK]
Biaggi, Misano WSBK 2016
Biaggi, Misano WSBK 2016
Biaggi, Misano WSBK 2016
Milwaukee BMW garage, Misano WSBK 2016
Milwaukee BMW garage, Misano WSBK 2016
Milwaukee BMW garage, Malaysian WSBK 2016
Haslam, Italian WSBK 2016
Milwaukee BMW hospitality, Dutch WSBK 2016
Milwaukee BMW, Dutch WSBK 2016
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Akrapovic Exhaust on Abraham’s BMW, Dutch WSBK 2016

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FairMan - Unregistered

May 08, 2011 12:22 PM

CamierFan: My comment was not against Camier, I think he is great rider and he is consistently losing with his teammate only because Biaggi is real champion and one of the best rider ever. It is not shame to lose against true legend (=Biaggi) on the same bike. But eurosport commentators are clearly biased against Biaggi and it REALLY ANNOYS ME. I understand they do not like him as a person but it is very unproffesional to criticise his riders abilities because of some personal animosity.

Gino - Unregistered

May 08, 2011 1:43 PM

That settles it. That aprillia is way too fast, I used to believe biaggi when he said his speed was more down to his corner exit than power, but today we saw him go way deep into the chicane, get passed in the inside as marco gets on power earlier and biaggi still get passed by the next corner. He doesn't even need the main straight. Freakin ridiculous u can run that wide and still drive passed everyone like a video game on easy setting. And it happened more than once !!!!!

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