Parkalgar is the winner, says team manager.jpg

Parkalgar is the winner, says team manager

Two Algarve residents wanted to share with you, our readers, their motor bike racing experiences at last weekend’s World Superbike Championship held at the Algarve Motor Park, near Portimão. Here are their first-hand reports.

By Petrol Head

The World Superbike Championship returned to the Algarve racetrack and, unlike last year’s event, there were still questions to be answered with regard to the titles in both Superbike and Supersport championships, with Eugene Laverty of the Parkalgar Honda team in with a realistic chance of clinching the title in his first season with the Algarve based team.

An excellent weekend’s track action culminated on Sunday with the final races of the 2009 calendar bringing superb racing and thrilling action. The larger category of Superbikes was contested by Japan’s Noriyuki Haga on a Ducati and the American Ben Spies on a Yamaha R1 machine. The two races saw Spies claim the crown, with superb performances also by Britons Shane Byrne, Leon Haslam and Ireland’s Jonathon Rea.

Then it was the turn of the smaller 600cc Supersport machines, with championship leader Cal Crutchlow on the Yamaha looking to fend off Laverty’s challenge in the blazing Algarve heat. Speaking to Laverty and team manager Simon Buckmaster before the event, it was clear that the season for Parkalgar has been a genuine team effort, with success coming much earlier than anyone had anticipated. As Buckmaster explained, there was always the feeling that the team could challenge for podium places, but vying for the championship was something that was envisaged for next season at the earliest.

Laverty joined Portuguese team mate Miguel Praia with no expectations of a Parkalgar rider winning the championship this year. He told the Algarve Resident: “Miguel and I have been a team from the start and the fact that I am challenging for the title is just as much to do with him as it is me.

“We have worked together to get the bikes set up for the championship. We didn’t think that we would challenge the might of the Ten Kate team this year, but we have and we’ve come out on top through a genuine team effort.”

Simon Buckmaster agreed, saying: “Everything that has been achieved this year has been through co-operation and team work and we are ahead of our plans because of that.”

Laverty won the race by a good margin, riding his CBR600 Honda superbly, but with Crutchlow finishing in the points, the former was unable to overtake him to win the championship, finishing a superb second by only seven points, a marvelous achievement for a privateer team.

As Simon Buckmaster said: “The biggest growth has been Miguel, who has improved markedly as a racer this year. It may be Eugene who finished second in the Championship, but Parkalgar is the winner.”

Well done to the Parkalgar team.