Michael Laverty celebrated a near-perfect weekend at Snetterton as he jumped from eleventh in the championship up to fourth in one fell swoop. The Ulsterman put his dreadful start to 2012 behind him by following Tommy Hill in the first race before dominating the second when the Yamaha rider retired due to an overheating motorbike.
Laverty paid tribute to the Samsung Honda team who claimed victory for the first time since the season opener at Brands Hatch and feels their hard work has finally reaped rewards.
“We were due a result and after the first races of the season and not breaking into the top five I am relieved that we have finally achieved it today. It wasn't without drama though as I knuckled down and had a good battle with Tommy (Hill) and Josh (Brookes). I had a collision on the final lap with a slower rider so it was a frantic last lap but I wanted to go better in race two! We made some slight tweaks to the Samsung Honda and it worked awesome; I just knew I needed to make a break and not make any mistakes. On the last lap I was looking at the crowd and really enjoying it, knowing I was the seventh race winner as that is my lucky number. I am really chuffed and to get 45 points out of a possible 50 is a brilliant result and we really are back on track. I have to thank the team for their hard work for us to achieve these podiums as the Samsung Honda Fireblade was working fantastically.”
While Laverty's championship chances have increased significantly, teammate Jon Kirkham has fallen 21 points behind the top six riders after scoring just two points all weekend. The Derby rider crashed on the opening lap of race one and decided that caution was the best approach for race two.
“For me this weekend was about scoring points and getting myself back up to speed after the big crash at Oulton Park. It was a steady start to free practice and I was making progress; I missed out on Q3 in qualifying but I was quite happy with 13th which sounds surprising but I just wanted to keep building the speed throughout the weekend and have two good points scoring races. In the first race another rider went underneath me and I went down and I was gutted as it was only the first lap. That left me right down the grid for race two and I was careful over the first few laps to avoid any trouble and then the times really picked up. I was up to twelfth but I ran so wide I was nearly in Norwich and that cost me dearly as it dropped me two places but I am happy to have finished the race and gain more confidence. Since the crash I have been unable to train to my normal level so now I am ready to come back kicking at 100% at Knockhill.”