MotoGP: Injury forces Eugene Laverty to retire at Valencia

Eugene Laverty in action at Valencia in Spain.
Eugene Laverty in action at Valencia in Spain.

Eugene Laverty’s maiden season in the MotoGP World Championship ended on a disappointing note after the Aspar Honda rider was forced to retire with seven laps to go at Valencia in Spain.

Laverty was in severe pain after suffering a burn on his foot in the previous race at Sepang in Malaysia, which left the 29-year-old on crutches for a week.

The Toomebridge man braved the injury for as long as he could before being throwing in the towel in Sunday’s race.

“I made a good start, probably my best of the year, and tucked in behind [Valentino] Rossi for the first three corners,” Laverty said.

“Everybody made a gap for him so I followed him through and was able to gain some places. The bike was working well for the first half of the race but after that I started to have problems with my foot burning again.

“It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t already raw from Malaysia but once the footrest got up to 60 degrees I knew I was in trouble. I tried to stick it out but I had to come in. My motto is ‘ride her ‘till she blows!’ and I have never had to stop for anything like this before, so it was hard to take,” he added.

“But we have a test to think about on Tuesday and if I didn’t stop I might have not been able to ride on Tuesday.”

Reflecting on his debut season in the premier class, Laverty feels he did not reap the rewards he deserved on the Open class machine.

“Overall it has been a strange year. We have had some good moments but to score nine points this year is much less than I feel we deserved,” he said.

“It was good to have a team-mate of the quality of Nicky [Hayden] because we could measure our work and we did a good job, but we didn’t have a package that was capable of consistent points-scoring finishes.

“When we did have the opportunity to show our pace we were strong but we were never going to be fighting for the top ten,” added Laverty, who will switch to Ducati machinery in 2016 in the Aspar team.

“I am looking forward to a new challenge with a new bike next season. I have a great team behind me that has won many World Championships and we now have the experience of a full season together in MotoGP so I am optimistic about next season.”