GREAT BALLS OF FIRE

Laverty en­gulfed in flames af­ter 128mph crash

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - GOR­DON RITCHIE WSB RE­PORTER

Eu­gene Laverty some­how man­aged to walk away from a spec­tac­u­lar crash and sub­se­quent fire­ball in the open­ing race at Imola on Satur­day. The Mil­wau­kee Aprilia rider got tan­gled with Pata Yamaha man Alex Lowes on the fright­en­ingly fast plum­met to­wards Ri­vazza cor­ner on the his­toric Ital­ian cir­cuit.

As Lowes went in­side on the fast right curve Laverty felt he was pushed wide and as they both lined up to make the fi­nal ap­proach to the cor­ner en­try they touched.

Laverty’s front mud­guard and front brake line were ripped off in the col­li­sion mean­ing that the Ir­ish­man was now head­ing off-track rapidly with no way of slow­ing down. In a split sec­ond de­ci­sion that ul­ti­mately meant he avoided se­ri­ous in­jury the cal­cu­lat­ing 30-year-old de­cided to

jump off his Aprilia su­per­bike de­spite trav­el­ling at a data con­firmed 128mph!

Speak­ing to MCN af­ter the crash, Laverty ad­mit­ted he’d had a lucky es­cape, as his bike hit the un­pro­tected sec­tion of the re­tain­ing wall and burst into flames.

“I am just glad to walk away from it be­cause it is one of those in­ci­dents where any­thing could have hap­pened. It was just un­for­tu­nate, but the salt be­ing rubbed into the wounds was look­ing round and see­ing the fire­ball and know­ing that some­body else had de­stroyed a bike.”

For Laverty there was no es­cape once the move had been made.

“You get sucked in be­cause you still get a slip­stream at that speed, it does not mat­ter if you are on the gas or off the gas. In a way it is a rac­ing in­ci­dent and it was not in­ten­tional at all, it was just a lit­tle bit clumsy. You can­not say Alex did any­thing too wrong but he was not very pre­cise at that point. But Alex would not do some­thing like that in­ten­tion­ally.”

Any­one who wit­nessed the Laverty crash and saw a com­pletely de­stroyed fac­tory Aprilia and Laverty cartwheel­ing through the gravel trap at 100mph would have been amazed to see him back on the grid the fol­low­ing day for race two. In fact, the Ir­ish­man went on to se­cure one of his best re­sults of the sea­son, fin­ish­ing seventh.

“My ri­vals have found an­other sec­ond a lap since the start of the sea­son. One of the fun­da­men­tal prob­lems we have been com­plain­ing about is that for a few laps we are okay, then for a few laps after­wards we are screwed. Hope­fully for Don­ing­ton we can change the weight bias but we can’t do it here.”

‘It was not in­ten­tional at all, just a li­ut­tle bit clumsy’ EU­GENE LAVERTY

Gravel trap slows Laverty, but not his bike that much away...lavertylaver­ty­is­luck­y­towalk­a­way....

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