Eugene Laverty secures World Superbike win at Assen
Eugene Laverty took a dramatic win in the second race of Sunday's third World Superbike Championship round at Assen.
The Toomebridge rider hit the front on his Aprilia on the 18th lap of 22, overhauling race one winner Tom Sykes.
Laverty had taken fourth in the first race behind Sykes, runner-up Jonathan Rea and third-placed Sylvain Guintoli.
Laverty lies joint second in the series on 83 points with Chaz Davies and Sykes, 28 behind Guintoli. Rea, who was fourth in race two, lies fifth on 63.
For Laverty, it was his second win of the season, the 26-year-old having triumphed at the opening round at Phillip Island in February.
"That was a really unexpected win as I didn't think anyone would beat Tom (Sykes) today," said the former World Supersport rider.
"My technicians put their heads together between races and made a few changes to the bike, which clearly worked," he added.
Northern Ireland rider Rea produced a hugely impressive ride to take second in the first of Sunday's two races at the Dutch track.
Starting from second on the grid, Rea led into the first corner but was soon overtaken by Sykes, who went on to win comfortably on his Kawasaki.
Isle of Man-based Honda rider Rea won a thrilling battle for second, with Guintoli third on his Aprilia.
Laverty, who was second early on, fell back to finish in fourth spot.
The Aprilia rider, who qualified third, made a poor start to the opening race but made ground to occupy second position on lap eight, before losing places to compatriot Rea and team-mate Guintoli.
Rea ended up in the runner-up position thanks to some daring overtaking manoeuvres, one of which saw him get the better of Guintoli with two corners to go and then edge out the Frenchman at the finishing line.
For the Ballyclare-born racer, it was the 30th career rostrum of his World Superbike career at an event which represents the home round for his Dutch PATA Honda team.
Assen has proved a happy hunting ground for Rea in recent years, the Ulsterman having enjoyed single race victories in 2011 and 2012 and a double success in 2010.
Polesetter Sykes, from England, produced a dominant performance to claim the sixth World Superbike win of his career.
"Tom was on a different planet out there, but I was happy with the way I rode - I did my best, gave 100% and am happy with the result," said Rea afterwards.
The next round of the series will be held at Monza on 12 May.
Dubliner Jack Kennedy was seventh in the World Supersport race, won by Sam Lowes, and now lies eighth in the series.