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Laverty brands new WSBK red flag rule 'a joke'

Factory Aprilia World Superbike star Eugene Laverty has branded his own 2012 season as 'woeful' after missing some important podiums in the last couple of races and has also said the countback rule which cost him a rostrum at Silverstone is a joke.

Laverty hasn't come anywhere near his own high expectations this season. Many had the young Irishman down as a title contender at the start but luck and certain circumstances have conspired against the Toomebridge man, including a rule change over winter which can include a rider in the results even if he is in the gravel trap when a red flag is shown.

"I’ve had a woeful season and I’m really not happy with how things have turned out. However, I’ve learned valuable lessons which will make me much stronger next year. There are still six races remaining so I still have a chance to salvage my season," said Laverty.

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"At Silverstone, Jakub Smrz and Loris Baz made mistakes, ended up in the gravel trap and then made their way onto the podium. There was a rule change over the winter allowing riders no longer in the race to be classified in the case of a red flag. I warned the organisers that this was a bad idea at the start of the season but rules are rules so I had no problem with Loris Baz finishing on the podium.

"However, the organisers made an error and placed Jakub Smrz in third even though he’d crashed two laps before. That sort of thing should not happen in World Championship racing.

"At Moscow, in the heat of battle, my right hand got lively again and I crashed out of third position. I made a costly error and unfortunately I took Johnny Rea down too. The biggest mistake I made, however, was getting back on my feet so quickly. If only I’d laid on the ground for a little longer the red flags would have came out and I’d have been awarded third position on countback

"This rule is a joke and it’s only a matter of time before riders are taking full advantage of it."

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