2011 World Superbike
Eugene Laverty (58) had the best results of his World Superbike career Sunday in Monza, doing the double aboard the Yamaha Superbike YZF-R1.
The Irish WSBK rookie’s twin victory was also his first-ever podium in the class. As Laverty lead the grid, his teammate, Marco Melandri (33) also posted postitive results on the Yamaha R1 – fifth in Race 1, second in Race 2.
Laverty, who qualified second in Monza behind pole-winner Max Biaggi (Aprilia RSV4), immediatly took the lead in Race 1, only to have Biaggi rob it for a few seconds at “Prima Variante.” But once back in control at “Blassono curve,” Laverty held the lead to the checkered flag aboard the Yamaha R1.
Laverty would finish 1.575 ahead of Biaggi, with Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad S1000RR) rounding out the podium.
In Race 2, Laverty rode with patience and gusto. He fell back to ninth after three riders crashed, but made it back up into second by the end of the race. On the final lap, he took the lead from his teammate, beating Melandri’s Yamaha to the line by 0.327 of a second. Team Alstare Suzuki’s Michel Fabrizio took third.
Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike) says: “I came here aiming for a podium and now I’m coming away with two incredible race wins. It’s fantastic. I didn’t get off to a good start in the second race. I had to avoid a collision on the first corner, causing me to lose time. I also struggled a little with the tires in the hot conditions. When it came to the last few laps, I couldn’t believe my luck that it was just me and Marco in the lead. This double victory was particularly special to me, being the team’s home track.”
Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike) says: “It’s been a tough but still quite a good weekend. I had difficulty finding the right set-up in order to provide more stability. We made progress before the second race but the bike was still quite agitated towards the end. In the last corner I struggled with the gears and the rear tire locked causing me to go slightly wide. I’m really pleased to be on the podium and I really enjoyed riding the track. We have gained some important points but I’d like to get more next time!”
Andrea Dosoli (Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager) says: “Both riders had some challenges with the set-up of their R1’s over the weekend, especially Marco. Even though we got a double victory here we still know there is plenty of work to be done. We are heading to Aragon for tests this week and hopefully we will come back even more prepared for the upcoming race in Miller.”
With his double at round 4 of 13, Laverty moves from ninth to sixth in the 2011 World Superbike championship with 85 points. Laverty’s Yamaha Superbike teammate, Melandri, is in second with 118 points, just 27 behind the leader, Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa.