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Aragon MotoGP: ART boost for 'Lunging Laverty'

"Paul Bird used to call me 'Lunging Laverty' because I'd come from way back on the brakes... It's nice to brake late again and be in a position to fight with other riders so I'm looking forward to the race" - Michael Laverty.
By Stephen English

Michael Laverty's first race weekend on the ART machine did not net a major improvement in grid position, but the step forward in performance by the Irishman was clear to see.

Although qualifying 20th for tomorrow's Aragon Grand Prix, the PBM rider was pleased to have been much closer to the leading CRT bikes and within the fight in midfield.

Having struggled for much of the summer to get within half a second of the FTR riders, Laverty was within a couple of tenths of Hector Barbera, Colin Edwards and Randy de Puniet.

Speaking after qualifying, which he completed on just one set of tyres, it was clear that he felt that the step forward made this weekend justifies the team's decision to put him onto the ART machine vacated by Yonny Hernandez, when the Columbian signed for Pramac as Ben Spies' replacement rider.

"I feel like I'm riding better on the ART and I'm able to push myself more," said Laverty. "Position wise we're the same as we have been but pacewise we're a lot closer; Corti and Colin are a tenth faster and de Puniet only piped me on the last lap and I didn't use a second tyre in qualifying.

“It's such a long lap here and we thought we'd lose a lot time if we went for two tyres in qualifying. We're still learning the track and the bike so I just kept building throughout the session and I did my best lap on lap on the last lap but I think that I could have found a couple of tenths if I had used another tyre."

While the performance of the bike has improved, it has raised some issues for Laverty as he tries to adjust to the differences between the PBM bike and ART machine. In qualifying mistakes held him back from going faster just because Laverty is not yet completely comfortable on the bike and able to anticipate what it will do.

"I had a couple of good splits and then messed up the lap. I've been doing that all weekend because I'm not able to anticipate what the bike is going to do at times because it's all new for me. In some corners I'm expecting it to push on and at others I'm expecting it to slow up and it doesn't. I'm just a bit inconsistent because I'm still trying to get my head around the bike."

Riding the ART has also required a change in crew chief for Laverty with former grand prix rider and present BSS racer Scott Smart joining the PBM team. Laverty has been pleased with the results so far, with Smart's intelligent approach and his knowledge of electronics being a major advantage this weekend.

Tagged as: Eugene Laverty

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Laverty, Aragon 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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