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An epic last lap saw Eugene Laverty shoot up to fourth and achieve him best ever MotoGP™ finish and top Independent Team rider honours.
The Argentina GP was a unique race for all the riders on the grid, a mid-race bike change made mandatory due to safety concerns. Eugene Laverty made the most of the bike change, charging from 14th to tenth in just a few laps once on his second bike. The Irishman then became locked in a battle with Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) and Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) as the trio battled for eighth and the top Independent Team spot. The trio were promoted by several falls and retirements as their war raged till the final lap.
It was on this final lap that Laverty made his move, jumping from eighth to fourth. Two of these positions were due to the incident involving the Ducati Team, but Laverty put through two beautiful passes on both Espargaro and Barbera, the two involved in a slight incident. Fourth is Laverty’s best ever result in the World Championship, also ending the race as the top Ducati rider. In 2015 Laverty managed to gain nine points over the 18 races, in Argentina he scored a massive 13 and sits eighth overall.
Eugene Laverty: “That last lap was something a bit special! I think I started it in eighth position and finished it in fourth, it was an incredible race, a race of two parts because we obviously had to come in to change bikes. The track was a little better on the second exit but I realised that I had to make up all my time in corner entry because I had no rear grip compared to the other riders, so I pushed the front tyre and was able to keep a good rhythm. After the preseason we had, I can't ask for more than thirteen points in the second race of the season.
“Last year I managed nine points over the whole championship so to get thirteen in one race is great recompense for myself and for the team, who kept faith in me and let me work my way back in testing. We were off the pace after so many big knocks and it took me a while to regain my confidence but I feel we are back where we should be now and I want to thank the whole team for their efforts.”
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