Monday, August 1, 2011

Double podium for Laverty and Melandri

Yamaha World Superbike Team riders Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri were on top form at Silverstone today claiming an impressive double podium a head in the warm British sunshine. Laverty and Melandri completed two solid races in second and third places respectively at the historic track where the Yamaha R1 has proved it’s strength yet again.

In race one, Eugene Laverty shot off his second place on the grid to immediately take the lead, a position he proceeded to hold until the last turn of the sixth lap when he surrendered to the championship leader, Checa. The 25 year old World Superbike rookie pushed hard, holding off advances from Hopkins and Camier behind to complete the first race of this home round in second place, in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Fellow Teammate Marco Melandri was on equally impressive form, moving up to fifth place off the grid.
A strong battle with Hopkins and Camier mid race saw the Italian interchange positions with his adversaries on several occasions. Melandri was tailing Camier and preparing to make his move when the Brit was forced to prematurely retire due to engine failure with just three laps to go. The Italian then proceeded to complete the race in third place, joining his Yamaha World Superbike teammate on the podium.

Laverty and Melandri proved to be just as determined and consistent in race two, which was almost a replica of the first race of the day. Laverty performed flawlessly, holding the lead until the sixth lap before finally powering his YZF-R1 to the chequered flag in second place while his teammate followed close behind to claim the third spot on the second podium of the day. From a perfect second row start off the grid, Melandri shot up to fourth place. The Italian, bottled necked in traffic was caused to fall back to fifth and then sixth place before regaining fourth by lap 10. While holding off advances from Biaggi, Melandri proceeded to battle his way up to third place.

Following today’s incredible performance and four podiums, Yamaha is now holding second place in the Manufacturers standings. Melandri leaves Silverstone with 272 points and sitting in third place in the standings, having succeeded in closing the gap to Biaggi in second place, to just 9 points and 71 points short of Checa in the lead. Laverty is sitting in a solid fourth place on 208 points, 64 behind his teammate and 50 ahead of Haslam in fifth. With four rounds left to go and eight races, there are still a total of 200 points up for graps.

Eugene Laverty: "Yes I’m happy with the 40 points today. Not a victory but two second places are quite good. In race one Carlos went by me and pushed on but I had some limits with the bike so I couldn’t really catch up. In the end, second place was more than enough. In race two I really wanted to push for a victory, especially to cheer up my brother John in hospital, but I’m sure he’s happy with my results. I had a better second race, I changed the tyre and there was an improvement. In the later part of the race I tried to move my body position on the bike and began to close in on Carlos, but when I did, he reacted. He had the edge on us today so he would have been extremely difficult to beat"

Marco Melandri: "In race one, I had a very unstable bike, I didn’t have a good feeling from the beginning of the race and struggled with a lack of rear grip. I lost a lot of time with Hopkins and Haga in front of me and it wasn’t easy to get by. We changed the tyre before race two to get better grip on the left side, but I hit a stone with my knee on the straight and it caused me to lose a lot of time on that lap. I started to improve then and saw I could catch Camier . I was struggling to keep Max at bay but I pushed to stay ahead. I’m happy with my double podium today. Now I’m looking forward to some holidays and I hope to come back stronger than ever."


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