Michael Laverty feels he has found the breakthrough he needs to mount a challenge for the 2012 MCE British Superbike Championship title after notching up his second win of the season at Knockhill.
Having made the switch from Swan Yamaha to become team leader at Honda over the winter, Laverty began the 2012 season as a firm title favourite, but his failure to land a top five finish in the opening three rounds prompted many to revise his status.
Nonetheless, Laverty has since begun to hit form, landing a first Honda win and a second place finish at Snetterton before proceeding to consolidate that with a second victory success at Knockhill, as well as a run to third position.
Showing well to overtake both Shane Byrne and Tommy Hill on the way to victory around the Scottish circuit, Laverty was delighted with his performance, one that he feels is indicative of his potential on the Samsung-backed CBR1000RR.
“I knew that these races would be tough – we made a small change to the set-up after the morning warm-up, however that did not work and I was losing the front in places, but we had a look at that between the races,” he said. “In the first I was stronger than the leaders in some places, but they were stronger in others. I also made a little mistake or two going into the Hairpin and that lost me a bit of ground in the closing stages.
“Always at this circuit it is so close, so difficult to pass. We made a few tweaks between races and they paid off. It was good to win the second race - a few people had written me off but we have really found our feet now.
“I always knew that we would come on strong as this win shows. I made some fast passes, got my head down and got a lead and did not take any chances – it all worked out perfectly. We had some bad luck in the early rounds, but four podiums in the last four races has consolidated my place in the top four in the standings and now my title bid is back on track.”
Set to benefit from the 'Showdown' format, though Laverty's quiet early season form leaves him 37 points adrift of the title leaders, his run of four rostrums means he has acquired 9 podium credits, compared with Hill's 15, Byrne's 13 and Josh Brookes's 8.