Laverty and Lowes fight it out in exciting finale
MICHAEL Laverty will be thankful to see the back of MCE Insurance British Superbike rival Alex Lowes after an exciting and bruising contest between the pair at Brands Hatch.
The 31-year-old, who rides for the Louth-based Samsung Honda team, was mathematically in with a shout of finishing the season as British champion – but that was always an unlikely scenario.
Laverty diced with Lowes throughout the weekend in Kent.
In race one, which saw Lowes tumble out after 14 laps, Laverty was tenth. In race two, he tussled with the WFR Honda rider for third spot, before eventually sealing it as his rival pulled into the pits.
Father's Day will soon be upon us, so Don't Forget....
Pop into Alexandra Gifts of Ashby and Pick Up Something for Dad!
Terms: Alexandra Gifts, Alexandra Road, Ashby, Scunthorpe, DN16 2SF.
Contact: 01724 701748
Valid until: Saturday, June 15 2013
In race three, both were pushing each other for third again.
Lowes clipped the kerb on the first bend of the final lap and also took out Laverty.
That meant Laverty finished fifth overall in the championship standings, just three points behind Lowes in fourth.
Shane Byrne sealed his third British title in style with three wins.
After finishing third in race two, Laverty said: "I struggled to make passes and I got stuck behind Alex for quite a while.
"I could tell he was struggling but I couldn't make the pass stick. I tried a couple of times but he closed the door. The same thing happened in race one and I was getting a bit frustrated.
"But then I settled down after the second safety car and we were running at a reasonable pace, but Shane seemed to have us all covered.
"He is good around Brands Hatch and he has that extra speed advantage – fair play to him he is doing a top job, but it is pretty frustrating whenever you are down on him.
"It is hard work and there is only so much you can make up on the brakes. I was working hard, we had the set-up quite good and it would have been nice to get a win."
Laverty's Samsung Honda team-mate Jon Kirkham recorded three top-ten finishes at Brands Hatch – ninth in race one and eighth in races two and three.
Kirkham finished 12th overall with 122 points and he believes it could have been a completely different story had he not suffered concussion at round three at Oulton Park in May.
"I was unfortunate this season I think because of my crash earlier in the year and that really hampered my progress overall," said Kirkham.
"If I'm honest, I didn't come back as strongly as I would've liked, so next year I've got a bit of a point to prove, we'll just have to see where I end up.
"I've not got any plans for next year yet – anything could happen. I think everything will be worked out in the next few weeks."
British Eurosport is the Home of Motorbikes, showing all British Superbike races live on Sky and Virgin Media and now available in stunning HD on Sky