Eugene Laverty: ‘King of Brands will take a brave rider’

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MotoGP rider and former British Supersport front-runner Eugene Laverty has pitched in on this weekend’s MCE British Superbike special ‘King of Brands’ title – and it’s £50,000 special prize fund.

The new rules, in effect for only the second race at Brands Hatch, will give the front row of the grid the option of starting from the back of the grid. Should they be brave enough to take the challenge, they will immediately receive a cash prize of £5000 – and double championship points.

However, there’s still more to play for than that, and should one of the trio come through to win the race, they will receive an incredible cash prize of £50,000. Should they finish second, the prize is £25,000, with £10,000 for third – but only one of the three can win.

“It’ll take a brave rider to take on the challenge of coming through from last-to-first but I’m certain that someone will give it a go. If it rains it’d be epic because then, in my opinion, it’d become much more achievable. The rider that takes on the challenge will lose most of their time during the first couple of laps trying to fight through the pack. When conditions are wet it’s much easier to pass two or three guys per corner and slice your way through towards the front.

“I remember watching Neil Hodgson coming through from last-to-first in 2000 and it was pretty darn impressive. The only time I’ve come anywhere close to that was back in 2009 when I crashed out of the World Supersport race on lap 3 at Donington and I had to fight back from 26th to 5th position. But overtaking absolutely everyone, now that’s a different kettle of fish altogether.

However, possibilities aside, Laverty says that the move has once again shown how BSB organisers are keen to innovate.

“It’s yet another great initiative shown from Stuart Higgs and his team that’ll have us all glued to our screens come Sunday. If someone could combine Stuart Easton’s rocket starts with my brother Michael’s aggressiveness and spacial awareness during the early laps then they’d find themselves in the top 15 by the end of lap one. That’s the only way I see someone landing the big prize in a straight race. Either rain or a pace car during the second half of the race could play into the riders’ hands though so we’ll just have to wait and see.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer