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Ireland's Laverty wins first Superbike World Championship race of season

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Published: 27 February 2013


NORTHERN IRELAND'S Eugene Laverty won the first race of the Superbike World Championship on Sunday after a dramatic race that saw him battle fellow Aprilia rider Sylvain Guintoli.

With both riders equal on points going into the Spanish Grand Prix on April 14, Laverty looks like the stronger of the two, having led for 15 laps in the first race and only losing by 1.352 seconds to Guintoli. In the second race at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Australia, he held off the Frenchman and crossed the finish line 0.418 seconds ahead.

Eugene Laverty

After winning the race, Laverty was quick to tell his 36,000 Twitter followers how he felt. "Thanks Australia for a great few weeks. I win one race and they give me my very own lane on the motorway!"

With two podiums in one weekend, he made the most of the moment, telling a fellow Tweeter, "My neck's starting to tire already with the weight of these two Pirelli hats. Ah well, only a 14 hour flight to go!"

Riding the Aprilia RSV4 factory-built sports bike, it can achieve over 200 horsepower when optimised for racing and torque of 10,000rpm. Introduced to the Superbike World Championship in 2009, it was Max Biaggi that scored nine podiums in with the motorbike in its first year, winning the bike's first race in the Czech Republic.

Honda riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam had a more challenging race, standing sixth and seventh in the championship respectively.

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