28 March 2013
Interview with Michael Laverty
'We don't have intermediate tyres in MotoGP but that's what the conditions in Jerez required – for three days!' - Michael Laverty
Interview with PBM rider Michael Laverty, ahead of his MotoGP debut in the CRT class in Qatar on April 7...
How is life in MotoGP treating you, Michael?
It's been good, although I'm not sure you get the full MotoGP experience from tests as the paddock is on quite a reduced scale without the Moto2/3 teams and none of the GP infrastructure. However life inside my team and on track has been really positive. The travel and climate/cultural changes are something that I quite enjoy rather than seeing them as a pain like some do. I've been away from home a lot already, so I miss Jodi and our dog but it's all good.
There is a huge amount of fan support behind you this year. Have you noticed a difference in reaction from them since you started in MotoGP?
It's been quite interesting, I'm not one to read fan forums etc but from what I've been told by those close to me who do, there has been a major shift from the detractors originally to a lot of support. It has been surprising, BSB is a top national series but just the fact that you race MotoGP - albeit on a CRT machine - really seems to incite a lot of interest. I shall enjoy the support.
Is it satisfying to prove to your detractors that you deserve to be on the world stage?
For sure, although I don't really get hung up on other people's opinions, positive or negative, I don't really allow myself to take it on-board unless it comes from a source whom I respect. Armchair critics can't ever have a true grasp of what is going on, but if I get praise or criticism from say my brothers, my parents or my peers for example, that's a different story. It keeps your feet on the ground when you're doing well and your chin off the floor when things get tough.
You must have been frustrated with the weather conditions at the final test at Jerez?
All I needed was one full dry day, but for the majority of the test the circuit was too dry for wets and too slippery for slicks. We don't have intermediate tyres in MotoGP but that's what the conditions in Jerez required – for three days!
The final hour of the test was dry and that was the first time we adjusted the suspension and made a chassis change, so the reality is that I don't understand the chassis yet but we have managed to get the [standard ECU] electronics to a good level in time for the first round.
With the whole season ahead of you, what are looking forward to the most?
Not one thing in particular but the whole experience, riding on the best circuits in the world against the best riders on the best bikes in front of thousands of fans. It is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing and I plan to enjoy being part of the show.
What are your hopes for Qatar? Have you or the team set any targets?
I have yes, but it may be a little bit unrealistic at the moment. I had hoped to know better what our level is after the final Jerez test but that was a washout. I want to be battling to win the CRT race. If I was on the ART bike I would say it confidently but as we still have work to do with the PBM bike just to reach the level of the ART bike in performance I am a little bit reluctant. We will get there with the PBM bike for sure but right now we are a little bit on the back foot for the season opener.
Interview courtesy of FreeStyleXtreme.com
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