Laverty takes easy win Down Under
EUGENE Laverty shrugged-off his qualifying woes to take the win in the opening World Supersport Championship round of the year.
The Parkalgar Honda star led from lights to flag in a restarted race at Phillip Island, Australia.
Starting from fourth on the grid, the 23-year-old had been leading from the first corner of the original race, which had to be stopped on Lap Three because of oil on the track from Chaz Davies' BE1 Racing Triumph.
But at the restart another fast start from Laverty saw him second behind Kawasaki Motocard.com rider Lascorz as the pack headed into the first corner. Less than half a lap later, Laverty was ready to make the move, passing Lascorz at the Honda Hairpin.
Within a lap, Laverty had already pulled out a bit of a gap, a lead he eked out gradually over the remainder of the 21-Lap race.
Crossing the line more than four seconds behind Lascorz to take the opening win of the year, he admitted it had been a straightforward race for him.
"Yeah, it was pretty easy to be honest," he said. "All through the weekend it's been hard to close the gap on the others, I've not been able to get anywhere near their times.
"But we've worked hard and managed to improve our race set-up in morning warm-up, and it paid off as soon as the race started.
"I have to thank Pirelli for bringing a great tyre and it means we go to the next round at my team's circuit, Portimao, leading the championship for the first time in my career...so that's good!"
As Laverty cleared off into the distance, the main action in the race came from the Kawasaki Motocard and the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda boys.
Lascorz spent the early part of the race fending of Michele Pirro, with Pirro's team-mate Kenan Sofuoglu soon joining in the scrap.
Meanwhile, Lascorz' team-mate Katsuaki Fujiwara came steaming through the field, and turned it into a four way battle. As the four switched places between them for several laps, Fujiwara became the first casualty when he crashed out from second place on Lap 18.
He rejoined and managed to finish 11th, while Pirro retired a handful of laps from home, leaving Lascorz and Sofuoglu to slug it out between them, with Lascorz eventually getting second.
Although making the restart, Chaz Davies appeared unable to get to grips with his spare bike, and limped home in a lowly 12th.
But it was a better day for series rookie Gino Rea, as the young Brit took 10th.
World Supersport, Phillip Island Result.
1 50 Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 33'37.836 (166,536 kph)
2 26 Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 4.359
3 54 Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 4.500
4 25 Salom D. (ESP) Triumph Daytona 675 11.779
5 99 Foret F. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 17.266
6 55 Roccoli M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 25.034
7 127 Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 27.834
8 40 DiSalvo J. (USA) Triumph Daytona 675 30.102
9 117 Praia M. (POR) Honda CBR600RR 31.931
10 4 Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 31.991
11 37 Fujiwara K. (JPN) Kawasaki ZX-6R 40.552
12 7 Davies C. (GBR) Triumph Daytona 675 40.556
13 16 Charpentier S. (FRA) Triumph Daytona 675 1'28.553
14 33 Cazzola P. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR
15 9 Dell'Omo D. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR
RET 51 Pirro M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR
RET 5 Lundh A. (SWE) Honda CBR600RR
*Additional reporting by Mic Archbold