Michael Laverty believes that his strong fourth round points haul with a second place and a victory has kick-started his bid to fight for the MCE Insurance British Superbike crown. He became the seventh winner from eight races in a dramatic round at Snetterton as Josh Brookes took a one point lead over Tommy Hil in the overall standings.
Laverty was full of confidence at the sun-drenched circuit, building on the work his team had carried out to solve the problems he had encountered in the earlier rounds, but he was denied the winning double by a momentary flash of a warning light in the first race.
He had taken the early lead but slowed after six laps, explaining: "The red oil lights flashed on and I thought I was losing pressure and had to look down to see if I was losing oil but then I realised all was fine so I pushed on."
Reigning champion Hill exploited that by taking the lead and powering his Swan Yamaha to his second victory of the season, with Laverty second in front of the Tyco Suzuki of Brookes.
Laverty's first race pace gave him pole for the second race and he led throughout but behind them there was plenty of drama. Hill was in contention until he was sidelined by a machine problem and his team-mate Noriyuka Haga crashed out of fourth. Luca Scassa and then Tommy Bridewell also went down.
Shane Byrne whose first race was ended by machine problems made the most of his engine change to take second on his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ahead of Brookes whose pair of thirds put him ahead of Hill at the top of the overall standings.The day though belonged to Laverty and he enthused: "Getting second place was a massive load off my shoulders and then we made some changes to the bike between races and that gave me a bit more speed next time out.
"I was able to work the tyres that little bit harder and that gave me the edge and the front-end feel of the bike to be able to push on harder, so I was really happy to take the victory,"added Laverty.
Round four -27 May - Snetterton
Race one:1:Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha)2:Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +1.234s3:Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +6.847s4:Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha) +10.304s5:Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +10.333s6:Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +16.360s
Race two:1:Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda)2:Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +1.336s3:Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +1.792s4:Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda) +5.359s5:Graeme Gowland (WFR Honda) +8.974s6:Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +9.223s
Championship standings:1:Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 1242:Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 1233:Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 1084:Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) 815:Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda) 736:Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 66