Michael Laverty finally confirmed himself as the number one rider in the British Supersport Championship, taking the title for Relentless Suzuki with a penultimate round victory at Donington Park earlier today. Ian Lowry played the perfect wing man’s role for his senior team-mate, and the 20-year-old Moira rider also hoisted himself back into second place in the championship with his efforts at the Derbyshire venue.
Laverty, who had set the pole position time in Saturday’s combined qualifying sessions only needed a fourth placed finish to secure the title, and in a race that was to run in two parts, the Toomebridge man kept his head while others failed to do so, taking the victory in a re-started eight lap sprint on his Pirelli shod GSX–R600 Relentless Suzuki.
Credit must also to go Ian Lowry who held off the Padgett’s pairing of Dennis Hobbs [Relentless Suzukis only potential title spoiler] and John McGuinness while protecting Laverty at the front of the field in the closing stages. Lowry then shadowed Laverty across the line at the end of eight lap re-start, taking the fastest lap of the race as well as 20 championship points.
“I’m just so relieved to have finally clinched the title but it hasn’t sunk in yet. I knew after qualifying that I could have run an even faster pace than I did today but I wanted to keep it upright and out of trouble. I didn’t have any big gaps but I just rode my own race and let the rest of them chase me. I haven’t raced with Aaron Walker before so I didn’t want to take any chances dicing with him, but Ian [Lowry] also did a good job and we weren’t flustered by the red flag situation. I actually didn’t know that Dennis Hobbs had gone out but another double podium for the team is great, and a great way to clinch the championship. I was dubious about moving down from Superbike this year but it was 100 percent the right move and the Relentless Suzuki team has been superb for me. I have been comfy on the bike and also with the boys in the garage all year, so a big thanks to everyone involved.”
“The team has worked hard for four years to win this championship so I’m really pleased for everyone at Relentless Suzuki and TAS Racing. Michael’s away home with the championship but I’m also pleased with my weekend’s work. I qualified well on the front row and everything was hunky dory in the first race before the oil spill, as I was sitting in second place just behind Michael. In the re-start I didn’t get away just as well but I eventually got past Dennis Hobbs and Aaron Walker and again sat on the back of Michael. I possibly could have passed him on the last lap but I wasn’t prepared to take any risks with so much at stake. I’m now 16 points ahead of Dennis in the championship so a Relentless Suzuki ‘one–two’ is still very much a possibility.”
Philip Neill – Team Principal
“Today was the dream scenario with Michael winning the race to take the championship and Ian tucked in behind him to move back into second place in the series. Michael may have won the title, but they both rode like champions out there today. Once again the GSX-R600 Suzuki has proved dominant in the series and Pirelli have all but proved they are the top tyre in British Supersport racing.
Michael Laverty was brought in this year to win the championship, yes, but his professionalism and his win/podium rate have been phenomenal. Ian was also brought in to do a job, but I must say he has exceeded even my lofty expectations. He rode like a seasoned pro out there today; every time someone seemed to be threatening Michael’s position he got right back in front of them. It was superb.
I must take this opportunity to give my heart-felt thanks to all our sponsors today, not least to Suzuki and Relentless, but I also must thank Ian Glen at Beacon Security and John Hayden at Putoline Lubricants. I’ve already mentioned Pirelli’s massive involvement in our title challenge and I must also commend WP Suspension for helping us find the perfect set-up throughout the year.
Every member of our team has also played a major role in this success, from the lorry drivers to our crew chiefs. It’s a been a complete team effort and one that’s been worth the wait.”
Results – British Supersport Championship [8 lap re-started race]
Winner – Michael Laverty [Relentless Suzuki] 12:50.920; 2nd – Ian Lowry [Relentless Suzuki] +0.536; 3rd – Billy McConnell [Yamaha] +1.868; 4th – John McGuinness [Honda] 2.098; 5th – Aaron Walker [Honda] +2.435; 6th – Steve Brogan [Honda] +2.630
Fastest Lap – Ian Lowry
Championship Points [Round 12 of 13]
Michael Laverty – 2007 British Supersport Champion 215 points
2nd – Ian Lowry 169
3rd – Dennis Hobbs 153
4th – Billy McConnell 136
5th – Jamie Robinson 118
6th – John McGuinness 117
The final round of the British Supersport Championship takes place at Brands Hatch on October 12/13/14
Courtesy of Paul Lindsay @ Careva PR.
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