Eugene Laverty hasn’t had the best of luck lately, but he’s hoping to turn that around once he gets to Imola.
Laverty (Suzuki) is always a threat in WSBK competition, but at the Assen round, he failed to pick up a single point, crashing out in both races. That’s left him a lot of ground to catch up in the standings, but he’s determined to make that distance up when World Superbike visits the Imola circuit this weekend.
“Race day in Assen was perhaps the worst day of my career but it’s important to move on and focus on the next round, ” Laverty said. “I’m confident that with a bit of luck we’ll be fighting for the podium this weekend in Imola.”
He’s got reason for confidence; he crashed out at Imola last year, but other than that, he’s managed three podiums and always finished in the top six in his last eight races at Imola, in supersport and superbike racing.
Going into this weekend, Kawasaki factory rider Tom Sykes leads the WSBK standings with 108 points. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) is in second, with 96 points. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) is right behind Guintoli, in third place, with 93 points.
Guintoli crashed at Assen as well, smashing up in the second race after winning the first. He says he’s back to full health now, though.
“Although my back was really painful after the crash in the second encounter, I am now back to full fitness and ready to fight for the win,” he said.
It won’t be an easy task, as Imola is his teammate Marco Melandri’s home circuit, and he’s primed to acquire some points as well. Melandri has never managed a podium in front of his home crowd, and he wants to achieve that this weekend.