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MotoGP Q&A - Michael Laverty

You've had a full season on the bike now so are well placed to look at the difficulties that most Superbike riders have in MotoGP. Why is that most riders reach a certain level in MotoGP and can't move forward?

Michael Laverty:
It's the million dollar question. Spies looked like he was capable of doing but in his last year at Yamaha he seemed to have a lot of bad luck, to be fair to him, but it did seem that he would be the man that could [make the step].

When you look at the likes of Marquez the game was moved on this year and the Moto2 route has brought bigger lean angles and riding the bike sideways and looser. It's an evolution style if you like. Marquez is coming in with a different mode and he's attacking all the time.

Lorenzo and Pedrosa had to up their game to match them and Valentino wasn't fit to change, maybe he's an older head on his shoulders and it's hard for him to adapt. But looking at GP from the outside it looked as though the game was up this year and Marquez raised the bar. He was coming from the Moto2 route with maybe a slightly different mindset.

Superbike riders are definitely more than capable but I suppose that a Superbike is softer and has a bit more flex and you can't quite push it that close to the limit, whereas the GP bike is very rigid and to get them loose you have to work them hard. It's a different style and I don't think a Superbike rider can't adapt. I think that Spies had the speed to do it but circumstances went against him. I think that Cal has done a good job on the Yamaha at getting damn close to the factory boys this year. Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards are Superbike guys too.

I don't that it hinders people and looking now at those guys who came through, the two-stroke over Superbike didn't really create a better rider. But looking now at Pol Espargaro, Scott Redding and Marc they ride it that way all over the front with big lean angles and all elbows and it seems that works the Bridgestone tyres better.

When you see Lorenzo, if you look at him from two years ago he's a different rider now. He's now off the thing and he's got his body right off it. Stoner did the same thing and I think that's just the way it's going and everyone has to adapt otherwise they'll be left behind. I wouldn't say that it doesn't matter where you come from, you've got to recalibrate your brain and try and do what they're doing.
Can the CRT bikes be ridden in the same sort of way as Marquez rides or do you have to ride them differently?

Michael Laverty:
Whenever you've got a chassis that's working well you can ride them quite aggressively. When you've watch the likes of Marquez and Pedrosa you can't take a CRT Aprilia and ride it like that because the power characteristics and how the chassis and electronics work is very different. So you can't look at it and say 'I'll ride my bike like that.' You try and figure out how the bike needs to be ridden and you ride to those strengths.

It's the same with Espargaro, he rides that ART very differently to the prototype guys but he made it work. He didn't have the elbow down or the big lean angles and he actually rode it like a Superbike. He was always loading the tyre, which is a good thing, and he'd brake really late and then get straight onto the gas. It was a totally different way to how Marquez or Lorenzo ride the bike but it worked on the CRT bike.

According to the bike in question you have to ride that way and a good working CRT bike you can get the chassis and do what the prototype boys do if you get everything dialled in. It's understanding what way the bike needs to be ridden is the biggest thing and then adapting your style to suit that.
Once you went on the ART bike at the end of the year, how disappointing was it not to get a clear run at a race weekend?

Michael Laverty:

Tagged as: Eugene Laverty

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Laverty, San Marino MotoGP 2013
Laverty, Australian MotoGP 2016
Laverty, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Smith, Laverty Australian MotoGP 2016
Laverty, Australian MotoGP 2016
Laverty, Australian MotoGP 2016
Laverty, Hernandez, Australian MotoGP. 22nd October 2016
Laverty, Australian MotoGP 2016
Laverty, Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP. 22nd October 2016
Laverty, Australian MotoGP. 22nd October 2016
Laverty, Australian MotoGP 2016
Laverty, Australian MotoGP 2016
Laverty, Australian MotoGP 2016
Laverty, Australian MotoGP 2016
Pol Espargaro, Laverty Australian MotoGP 2016
Marquez, Laverty, Crutchlow Australian MotoGP 2016
Laverty, Australian MotoGP 2016
Laverty, Japanese MotoGP Race 2016

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December 12, 2013 1:39 PM

Interesting. Laverty is another racer who seems able to communicate good insight into his situation without upsetting his employers and suppliers by saying the wrong thing. With Aprilia / PBM resources, then developing a bike to compete with a Honda Proddie bike (let alone a Factory bike) is a monumental task. Just collecting and analysing data and translating that into electronic solutions must take months, where he big boys can just throw manpower and resources at the data and extrapolate solutions 100 times faster. There's SO much data now. That means HUGE demands for data analysis, which has to disadvantage the smaller teams beyond belief. Yet... RSMick tells us that Marquez could jump on ML's Aprilia and put it close to the podium. FWIW I reckon Laverty & the team have done a great job with what they had. That doesn't mean they had enough to genuinely COMPETE. Virtually no-one does in MotoGP.

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