Eugene Laverty made an excellent start to his first British Supersport
campaign by finishing sixth on the Red Bull Honda CBR600RR in brilliant
sunshine at Brands Hatch. The Toomebridge teenager has progressed into the
Supersport class this season after finishing runner-up in the 2004 British
125GP Championship for the same team.
Fourth into the first turn, Laverty was relegated to sixth at the end of a hectic first lap around the 1.2-mile Indy circuit. The 18-year-old Ulsterman soon settled into the scorching 28-lap race and a ferocious battle for the last podium position as eventual race winner and fellow Honda rider Jay Vincent pulled away from the rest of the field with Stuart Easton in hot pursuit.
While some of his opponents crashed out of contention, Laverty showed
maturity beyond his years to maintain a top six position at the chequered
flag. It was a typically competitive Supersport race, but Laverty had kept
his cool in the mix for third behind the more experienced trio of Craig
Jones, Leon Camier and Pere Riba.
Eugene Laverty: "I'm really pleased for everyone associated with Red Bull Honda and I'd like to thank them all for the support they have shown me in preparing for my first British Supersport race. The hard work has paid off and I have achieved my aim of finishing in the top six. This was a very different experience to racing the Honda RS125 over the past few seasons. The race was longer and this made things more challenging for me. If I can continue this progress at the next round, then I'll be happy."
- 1. J. Vincent (Honda) 22:22.207
- 2. S. Easton (Ducati) +4.827
- 3. C. Jones (Honda) +11.843
- 4. L. Camier (Honda) +11.894
- 5. P. Riba (Kawasaki) +12.271
- 6. E. Laverty (Red Bull Honda) +13.602
- 7. T. Tunstall (Honda) +18.677
- 8. K. Murphy (Honda) +21.222
- 9. L. Quigley (Honda) +31.404
- 10. J. Robinson (Honda) +32.871
Championship points after one round:
- 1. Vincent - 25
- 2. Easton - 20
- 3. Jones - 16
- 4. Camier - 13
- 5. Riba - 11
- 6. Laverty - 10
- 7. Tunstall - 9
- 8. Murphy - 8
- 9. Quigley - 7
- 10. Robinson - 6
Chris Jones showed his obvious potential as he led his debut British 125GP Championship race at Brands Hatch before crashing out in the closing stages. The 14-year-old Red Bull Honda rider was riding at the front of the field when he lost the front end of his RS125 on the entry to Druids Bend.
Showing experience beyond his years, Jones took the holeshot into Paddock Hill Bend before being passed by Kev Coghlan on the run up to Druids. The Red Bull Honda rookie maintained station until the safety car was necessitated as a result of an incident involving former British Champion Michael Wilcox.
After six laps behind the car - when overtaking is excluded - Jones was soon on the case of the race leader. It was during the ensuing battle for the lead that the Droitwich teenager parted company with his Red Bull Honda
RS125 on lap 18. The race was eventually stopped after 21 laps with Kev
Coghlan taking maximum points.
However, with 12 races in the Honda-dominated series still to run, Jones has already shown his true potential as part of the Red Bull Honda team. By
qualifying on the front row and leading the race, he will have gained
invaluable experience to take to the second round at Thruxton next month.
Chris Jones: "It was unfortunate that I came off, but it's a long season and I'm confident that we can get back on track at Thruxton. I've never been behind a pace car before, so I wasn't as prepared as I might have been for how the working characteristics of the tyres changed. It's all part of the learning process - that's the whole point of the Red Bull Honda team - and at least I'm better prepared if it happens again. The main thing is that I'm OK and therefore I'll be ready to bounce back for action in two weeks."
- 1. K. Coghlan (Honda) 18:46.747
- 2. R. Guiver (Honda) +1.802
- 3. B. Clark (Honda) +2.226
- 4. C. Elkin (Honda) +2.467
- 5. B. Smith (Honda) +5.963
- 6. J. Webb (Honda) +6.533
- 7. D. Linfoot (Honda) +7.699
- 8. J. Morris (Honda) +7.829
- 9. A. Lowes (Honda) +8.316
- 10. A. Gault (Malaguti) +11.644
Championship points after one round:
- 1. Coghlan - 25
- 2. Guiver - 20
- 3.Clark - 16
- 4. Elkin - 13
- 5. Smith - 11
- 6. Webb - 10
- 7. Linfoot - 9
- 8. Morris - 8
- 9. Lowes - 7
- 10. Gault - 6