MOTORBIKES: Hard work for young Charlie Irwin at Fat Cats

Charlie Irwin caked in mud after his races at Fat  Cats. INLT 14-923-CON
Charlie Irwin caked in mud after his races at Fat Cats. INLT 14-923-CON

Ballyclare’s Charlie Irwin was in action at the opening round of the British Youth Nationals at Fat Cats at the weekend.

The eight-year-old Fairview Primary pupil qualified his Discount Beds KTM 22nd out of 41 starters, and in his opening race finished 21st with some great lap times after a bad start.

Eugene Laverty and his Aspar team were well pleased with a fourth-placed finish in Argentina.

Eugene Laverty and his Aspar team were well pleased with a fourth-placed finish in Argentina.

In race two he was last round the first turn but recovered to finish 21st again.

In Sunday’s race one he was out early on with mechanical problems before taking 22nd in race two. In race three he made his best start of the meeting before a rider clipped his handlebars, which threw him off his KTM. Not one to give up easily, he remounted to make 27th by the chequered flag.

“That was hard work, but fun,” said Charlie.

MOTOGP: Magnificent Laverty takes 4th in Argentina

You just couldn’t have written the script for last weekend’s Argentinian MotoGP - even if you tried.

The usual uncertainty and anticipation ahead of a MotoGP race was exacerbated in Argentina by the presence of rain in the morning and problems with tyres, which made for a shortened race that would feature an obligatory bike change between the ninth and 11th laps.

While others fell by the wayside local rider Eugene Laverty, on the Aspar Power Performance Ducati, kept his head to secure a superb fourth place in the 20-lap Motul Grand Prix of the Republic of Argentina. He now lies eighth in the title race on 17 points.

“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.

“After the preseason we had, I can’t ask for more than 13 points in the second race of the season. Last year I managed nine points over the whole championship so to get 13 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. I want to thank the whole team for their efforts.”

Marc Márquez on the Repsol Honda was again dominant on Argentinian soil and although Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi was slugging it out with the Spaniard before the bike change with 11 laps to go, when they left the pits no one got near the Honda rider who won comfortably in the end.