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MotoGP Q&A: Eugene Laverty (Suzuki tests)

“ I thought that [the Suzuki MotoGP bike] really did suit my style and that it's what I need to ride” – Eugene Laverty.
During this weekend's Sepang WSBK round, Eugene Laverty spoke to about his recent MotoGP test sessions with Suzuki.

Suzuki is yet to confirm any riders for its 2015 MotoGP return...
You had the Suzuki MotoGP tests since the last race. It sounds like the test in Japan went well but in Philip Island the weather made it very difficult for you to do anything valuable there?

Eugene Laverty:
Yeah and that's what hurt us. It was supposed to be four hours on track in Japan but it turned into three hours and I had expected them to be just about getting comfortable on the bike and getting everything in position for Philip Island. But by the end of it I was pushing on and putting the soft tyre in and getting a feeling for it. The front tyre was a bit too soft, so we used the hard tyre and after such a short time on the bike I was pushing to the limits pretty soon on it. I was looking forward to Philip Island but winter Down Under was always going to be tough. I got launched off the bike after three flying laps and that put an end to the test.
What did you think of the bike?

Eugene Laverty:
In Japan I was really impressed by it and it was working well. I would have liked to have some more time at Philip Island because that was a track that would have highlighted some problems with the bike. I'm keen to get a chance on the bike again to work through those problems because the base of the bike is good and it's just that the rider setup of the electronics needs fine tuning I think.
Have there been any discussions about additional tests later in the year?

Eugene Laverty:
No, we just took it that we'd do Japan and Philip Island. I flew through the night [to get] here for this weekend so we haven't really had the chance to discuss it any further.
What did you think when you went into the garage and saw your own MotoGP bike?

Eugene Laverty:
It was nice to see the number 50 on it because I've been waiting a long time to ride one of those bikes. You can always, if you're a smart enough rider, work out what bikes are going to be strong for your style and what tracks would be strong for the bike. From what I knew about MotoGP I always knew that bike and tyres would suit me. Having ridden it, even after three hours, I thought that it really did suit my style and that it's what I need to ride. It's about getting the opportunity to do it right.
What do you need in a bike to take advantage of your riding strengths?

Eugene Laverty:
My style is that I like to brake hard and stop it and then gas it upright. I don't spend much time in the corner, so that's my style. I'd not like to give too much more away!
Was your brother Michael able to give you any tips on a MotoGP bike or the tyres?

Eugene Laverty:
Yeah, he gave me some advice on the tyres because I was scared before ridding them, especially with the winter Down Under. He said that they aren't as scary as what people make out. We've all heard the tales where it used to be a lot tougher a few years but now the crashes aren't as big as they used to be. There wasn't as big a fear before going to Philip Island, because it was cold. Even with the track temperature of 15 degrees when I was going out on the tyres I could push quite soon and it gave me a little bit of confidence to do that.
You've said before that there's nothing set in stone but that MotoGP was the goal for why you went to Suzuki for this year. Have you seen anything from working with Suzuki this year that would make you think that you wouldn't like to be involved with them in MotoGP next year?

Eugene Laverty:
No, if the opportunity was there and probably even more so after visiting the factory in Japan. There was a family feel there and it was so nice with it being a factory team and lots of different things over there. The bosses are quite friendly and that's a nice feeling. It's always about finding a balance between sport and business and I think that Suzuki has that perfect.
The Ducati discussions last year seemed that you got very close to joining Pramac. It was going to be on the Open bike but they didn't give any assurances that the works team would also be in the Open class. Was that the only thing that stopped you joining?

Eugene Laverty:
Yeah it was. It was a concern that Andrea Iannone was there - and I know that he's a fast rider- but that we'd be racing in the same colours but have different bikes underneath. I had that before when I was racing in 250s. In the end all the bikes went Open and Factory spec but my concern was that if they stayed official and I was the only one on the Open bike.
Was there any issue with Gigi [Dall'Igna] given that he hadn't really confirmed that he was leaving Aprilia and joining Ducati?

Eugene Laverty:
No, it affected things with the Aspar seat because that was where I was going when Melandri was coming in to replace me. It was kind of like I was getting kicked out of here [in WSBK] but that we'll put you here [in MotoGP] but it was all kept low key. Suddenly though when Gigi moved, Aspar didn't want to go with Aprilia so that closed that door. It was all a bit of a soap opera for me last year but Gigi was keen for me to go to Ducati. I had a good working relationship with him and maybe it's still an option in the future.

Tagged as: Suzuki , Eugene Laverty

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June 07, 2014 5:28 PM

Good worck crash.. I dunno what to think because there is so many good riders available at the moment for Motogp, but honestly saying i bealive that Laverty has the potencial to be one great Motogp rider and for what he allready did in is carear he deserve to find one Team that trust in him.. I really hope to wach Laverty in 2015 riding this one..

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