Eugene Laverty secures double Superbike win for in Istanbul

Eugene Laverty
Eugene Laverty

Eugene Laverty moved into contention for the World Superbike Championship by winning both races at the Turkish round of the series in Istanbul on Sunday.

After qualifying fourth fastest, the Aprilia rider took the lead on lap 12 of race one and came home ahead of Marco Melandri and England's Tom Sykes.

Laverty assumed the lead on the 13th lap of race two and won ahead of Sykes.

The Toomebridge man lies third in the series on 297 points, 26 behind leader Sykes, with Sylvain Guintoli in second.

Yorkshireman Sykes was the early leader of the day's first race but was overhauled by Laverty and BMW-mounted Melandri.

The second race saw Laverty hit the front with five laps remaining and he enjoyed a 1.7-second winning margin over Sykes at the flag, with the Northern Ireland rider's Aprilia team-mate, Frenchman Guintoli, having to settle for third.

For Laverty, it was his sixth victory of the 2013 season and his first double success at one meeting since Monza in 2011.

"It's been a while since I achieved a double race win and it was pretty unexpected to be honest," admitted Laverty.

"We'd been running at a good pace all weekend, but not an outstanding one, and they were two tough races

"It was pleasing to get my first race one win of the season and the Aprilia electronics worked very well - the bike was very strong in the second part of that race and I was comfortable with the changes we made for race two, which were a further improvement."

Melandri was back in fourth and has dropped to fourth in the championship standings, seven points behind Laverty.

Three rounds of the championship remain, with the next being held at Laguna Seca in the United States on 29 September.

The final two rounds will be staged at Magny-Cours and Jerez in October.