MotoGP: Eugene Laverty in points again at Misano

Eugene Laverty on the Aspar Ducati at Misano in Italy.

Eugene Laverty on the Aspar Ducati at Misano in Italy.

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Eugene Laverty pocketed more MotoGP World Championship points at Misano as the Aspar Ducati rider finished in 14th place in San Marino.

Laverty has only failed to score points once this season in 13 races, when he was taken out at the final corner on the last lap in Austria by Danilo Petrucci.

After starting from 16th place on the grid at the Marco Simoncelli Circuit, the 30-year-old gained two places to move into 14th position, where he remained until the finish.

Laverty, who is still in contention to finish in the top ten in the championship, said: “We had a consistent pace today. I’m happy with the performance. I made a good start, put in some good early laps and my pace was between 1’34.7s and 1’35.5. I stayed on my maximum for the entire race, but it wasn’t quite enough today.

“When I followed Scott Redding and Hector Barbera in particular, I realised that the problem we have is with turning the bike. We struggled at Turn 1 and Turn 5, and it meant that I lost a lot of time in the tight sections. That is where we struggled this weekend and where we have to improve.”

Sunday’s race was won by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who was celebrating his first premier class win since Sepang in 2015.

Pedrosa mounted a late surge and picked off team-mate Marc Marquez for third place before catching and passing Movistar Yamaha pair Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.

Runner-up Rossi closed the gap at the top of the standings to Marquez to 43 points with five races to go.

Silverstone race winner Maverick Vinales (Suzuki) and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso were the top six.

Britain’s Alex Lowes, who is filling in for the injured Bradley Smith in the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team, crashed out at Turn 2.

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow finished eighth with Scott Redding in 15th place on the Pramac Ducati.