WSBK: Eugene Laverty forced out of race two at Donington after sticking throttle fright
Eugene Laverty was left frustrated by a throttle issue in race two on Sunday at Donington Park, which forced him to retire.
The Milwaukee Aprilia rider secured sixth place in the opener on Saturday – his best result of the 2018 season – and Laverty was fired up to throw down his challenge from the front row as the reverse grid rules came into play for race two.
However, a locked rear wheel cost him time on the first lap before a sticking throttle brought Laverty’s race to an end.
The Toomebridge man, who only returned from injury at Imola in Italy earlier this month after a race two crash in Thailand in March, said: “I had a problem on the first lap where the rear wheel locked after turn seven.
“I thought I had oil in the tyre but there was some bug issue with the bike. I tried to stay in the race and at least salvage some points, but the throttle stuck open about halfway, which scared me.
“I lost a few more places trying to make sure I didn't collide with another rider, and then it happened again and nearly put me in the wall. After that it wasn't worth the risk so I boxed,” he added.
“I'm not happy with how the weekend went overall, we were quick in the warm up today but then had an electronics issue at the end, and then again in the race we had a problem, which was a disaster.”
The Northern Ireland rider is now feeling confident the next round of the championship at Brno in the Czech Republic will play to the strengths of the Aprilia.
“The bike should work well in Brno, anywhere with long corners suits us,” Laverty said.
“The other guys have tested there this year so they have a slight head start, but I'm confident we can put on a good performance there.”
Meanwhile, Carrickfergus man Andrew Irwin celebrated his best result of the season in the World Supersport race, crossing the line in tenth place on the CIA Landlord Insurance Honda.
Irwin collected more points for the third race in succession and the young prospect was delighted with his performance.
“It was a good race and I had set my sights on a top ten finish before the start and that’s what we got,” said Irwin.
“We done a decent job but there is more to come from both myself and the bike. I’m happy with to secure my first top ten and we go to Brno next where I want to be inside the points again and carry that on for the rest of the season.”
Irwin is embarking on his first full season in World Supersport with Simon Buckmaster’s PTR team after taking second place in the British Supersport Championship in 2017.