By Stephen English
Michael Laverty concluded his first British MotoGP weekend in 19th place after a race long duel with PBM team-mate Yonny Hernandez.
The duo battled throughout the 20 lap race at Silverstone with Laverty, riding the Aprilia-powered PBM bike, eventually coming out on top after a late overtaking move on Hernandez's ART machine.
Speaking exclusively to Crash.net
after the race, Laverty said that while the fight was enjoyable it was also frustrating given that once again the PBM bike was off the pace of many other CRTs:
"It was nice to have a battle with Yonny today," said Laverty. "It was frustrating though because I didn't have the pace to go with Aoyama and Corti but the early laps hurt us again. On a full fuel load I couldn't do the pace until the bike got lighter and at that stage Yonny was in front of me.
"If I could have passed him I could have gone a lot faster but I wouldn't have caught the guys in front, so we had a battle. He was hard to pass, his bike stops better than mine, and every time I got through he could brake later than me. But once I did make a clean move I put the hammer down and opened a bit of a gap and did my fastest lap of the race right at the end."
One area that Laverty had been keen to work with this weekend was moving his body weight to have more weight over the front of the bike, particularly under braking, in a bid to improve stability and allow him to brake deeper and harder into the corners.
During the race the Ulsterman experimented with a different riding position and felt immediate benefits:
“I learned a couple of things in the race and changed my body position in the later stages of the race and put more weight over the front of the bike so at Misano we'll move my body weight further forward. It's good to understand things but for a home race I wanted more and to be in the battle for points."
Like many riders this weekend Laverty was left to rue the difficult conditions with the windswept Silverstone track proving to be very cold each morning, before warming up considerably in the afternoon.
With such differing track conditions, the opening session of each day was of little benefit in terms of set-up work:
"We lost the morning sessions with the cool conditions, the Bridgestone's just don't work in that window, so this morning was pointless and the only thing you'd learn was how to crash so I only did five laps [in morning warm-up].
“It's a knife edge to get the tyres working; you have to push hard to get heat into the tyre but you risk crashing so it's a double edged sword."