So near and yet so far

By Phil Egginton

Last weekend was packed with interest for motor bike racing fans. Malaysia was witness to the World MotoGP title being taken by the charismatic Valentino Rossi. Meanwhile, our own Autódromo Internacional do Algarve hosted the final round of the World Superbike Championship.

With the various classes unsettled before the final round, this was always going to be a nail biting day for many riders and teams. Some bound to win and disappointment for others.

The home team of Parkalgar Honda had fought long and hard for the World Supersports title all year. Starting the season as ‘good runners up’, they quickly moved themselves onto the front row of the championship.

Rider Eugene Laverty chased the title hard all season with his Yamaha riding rival Cal Crutchlow. Team mate and local lad Miguel Praia had matured from a mid field runner early in the season to consistent top ten form. An uncharacteristic ‘off’ by Eugene at the previous round had left the championship very much in Crutchlow’s favour. Laverty needed nothing but a win with Crutchlow out of the points.

Practice on Saturday saw Laverty stamp his mark on the session throughout. Setting an early lap time that others were not able to beat, Crutchlow was able to put together some good times which resulted in second on the grid but did not show the consistency that Laverty had. Praia stated in an excellent seventh place.

Race day saw the largest crowd at the race track this year, many of whom had come especially to cheer the home team on. Laverty dominated from start to finish, pushing his Honda hard and finishing over three seconds clear of the rest of the field. However, Crutchlow played safe and cruised home fourth, thus securing the World Supersports title.

It may have been Crutchlow’s title but it was definitely Parkalgar’s day.

To see or purchase photographs of the World Superbike Championship at the autodrome last weekend, please visit go to ‘galleries’ and then ‘motor sport’.