Unlucky 13

The 13th and penultimate round of the World Supersport Championship at Magny-Cours lived up to its Eugene Laverty-Cal Crutchlow title showdown billing for most of the weekend.

The first-mentioned Parkalgar-Honda ace declared himself more than happy with both track and machine during practice, taking fourth place on the grid behind his only rival and fastest qualifier from England.

As the contest proper unfolded, the Northern Irishman worked himself into a promising position and was challenging eventual winner Juan Lascorz for the lead when underestimating his diminishing fuel load and crashing out.

After remounting, Laverty managed to finish the race in 13th but Crutchlow, who took a similar tumble at Imola the previous weekend, had flown to take second and an extended 19-point lead into the final October 25 Algarve seasonal climax.

“That was not what we wanted today,” a shaken but uninjured Laverty said afterwards. “We still have a shot at the title (there are 25 ponts available to the victor in a fortnight’s time) and want to win at our home circuit in Portugal.”

Parkalgar-Honda team mate Miguel Praia, who improved on his 13th starting position to take the chequered flag in 12th, will also be especially motivated in the Algarve given that his family home is just to the east of the Portimão motor park in Albufeira.

Prior to the big event the new race track will be staging the Vodafone ‘Speed’ Open tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday as well as the ground-breaking Historic Festival next weekend.