EUGENE LAVERTY SMASHES LAP RECORD, BUT WEEKEND BELONGS TO LORIS BAZ
Gulf Althea BMW’s Loris Baz secured two top-10 finishes at Portimão, as the World Superbike Championship returned after the summer hiatus, but it was a case of ‘what if’ for Eugene Laverty after crashing out of the opening race having beaten the lap record to secure a first pole position for Gulf and Milwaukee Aprilla.
Laverty guided his Aprilla machine to two historic podium finishes at Laguna Seca and Misano – the first for the team.
And the Northern Irishman maintained the form that made him formidable before the break, smashing the previous lap record to win pole position; however, his race lasted three corners after Xavi Fores collided with him.
In race two, Laverty raced valiantly to record a seventh-place finish; while naturally disappointed, the pace of the bike indicates a strong end to the season is on the horizon for Laverty and the team.
For Loris Baz, though, it was a successful weekend; after some rotten luck in previous rounds, he showed the potential of the Gulf Althea BMW by registering sixth and ninth-place finishes in Portugal.
The Frenchman hailed his weekend as “the best of the year so far” and is aiming to go one better with a top-five place at his home race in Magny-Cours at the end of September (28th-30th).
Meanwhile, in the European Superstook 1000, Alessandro Delbianco, returned after injury to claim a sixth-place. The Italian ace made progress throughout, overtaking riders and pulling away from rivals behind, which meant the rising star enjoyed a strong race.