A dramatic crash involving Eugene Laverty caused the first race of the Superbike World Championship’s Italian round to be red flagged, writes Stephen Barry.
The Antrim rider crashed out on lap 13 of 19 at Imola after contact between his Aprilia bike and that of Alex Lowes, who was overtaking into eighth place.
Laverty righted the bike approaching the corner, however the brake line was cut in the collision and he had to jump off at high-speed.
Just talked with Eugene Laverty and all OK for the Aprilia rider. Said he had to jump off after the brake line was cut after the clash— Steve English (@SteveEnglishGP) May 13, 2017
Laverty slammed into the track as the bike cartwheeled into the concrete barriers, creating a huge fireball on impact.
WHOA!!— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) May 13, 2017
Thankfully, Laverty walked away from the crash having escaped serious injury.
In a statement, the 30-year-old said: “I'm okay after the crash and I thought it would hurt me more, but my gear did its job and I'm ready to get on the bike again tomorrow.”
His wife Pippa Laverty tweeted: “Thanks for all your messages, I married a tough Irishman. He's ok.”
Thanks for all your messages, I married a tough Irishman 💪🏼 he's ok @eugenelaverty 😘— Pippa Laverty (@PippaLaverty) May 13, 2017
Lowes was relieved to see Laverty unhurt after their collision: “Went to see @eugenelaverty really happy that he is ok, which is always the most important thing! Unfortunate incident to end a tough race.”
With track conditions unsafe to continue, Chaz Davies was awarded the victory, with championship leader Jonathan Rea in second.