Tears of joy

The closing round of the World Superbike Championship at Magny-Cours brought glory tinged by regret to the Algarve-based Parkalgar Honda team.

Title contender Eugene Laverty did everything asked of him in placing his machine on the front row of the starting grid before going on to record an exhilarating eighth of a possible 12 seasonal victories – only to find that his super-human efforts had not quite been enough.

For next to the Northern Irish Algarve sensation sat sole rival Hannspree Ten Kate’s Kenan Sofuoglu, whose ultra-consistent record of having podium finishes in every race this year afforded him a slight numerical advantage.

True to form, the Turkish MotoGP returnee rode a measured no-risk race in second to ensure that the 2010 World Championship remained in his capable hands by a 11-point margin.

Parkalgar No2 Miguel Praia suffered a big fall in practice and started in 17th, but still managed a gritty ride to finish in tenth and take 12th overall.

“To get my eighth win of the year is a great way to finish off two seasons racing for the Parkalgar Honda team,” said Laverty, again World Championship runner-up, after the race.