Narrowly missing out on the last point in the Austin MotoGP left Michael Laverty somewhat disappointed, but the Irishman was pleased with his efforts.
Laverty, who had been in 15th with one lap remaining, was pipped to the final point by Avintia's Hector Barbera but felt he had got close to the maximum from the Aprilia powered-PBM bike.
"It was actually a pretty good race,” Laverty told Crash.net
. “I felt that I got close to the maximum of the bike. I had a few issues with the electronics in the middle of the race, I was losing a lot of drive and top speed to Abraham and Barbera, but in the tight and twisty parts I was faster than them and caught them in the middle of the race. I did a good lap and passed Hector but then on the last lap he got me back.
"On the last lap he got good drive onto the back straight and he pulled two or three tenths on me, so I could only get back to him with two corners to go and we crossed the line pretty much together. It was a bit disappointing not to get 15th and the last point after riding so hard all race long.
“But I felt that we achieved our target of racing with Hector and being close to Karel. I think that if I didn't have a few issues - the electronics and a slight oil leak onto my left boot - I think we could have gotten that point."
While Laverty was able to fight with pneumatic-valve powered Barbera in the second half of the race, the early stages had seen the Spaniard open a five second lead. So how did Laverty bridge the gap?
"I think that when the tyres go off those guys can't use their drive as well as on fresh tyres but I can manage it better. To be honest I had more tyre issues today than I normally have but I had a lot of wheelspin from four or five laps in but I kept my pace the same and Karel and Hector came back to me. I was doing 2m 07s from the start and then dropped to the 8's and they came back to me."
With the Aprilia-engine bikes regularly the slowest through the speed traps Laverty commented that the biggest problem affecting him, team-mate Broc Parkes and Ioda's Danilo Petrucci is that they lose so much time in acceleration from slow speed corners.
"The biggest issue for us is a lack of acceleration and speed. The Aprilia is the slowest bike on the grid and when Abraham [on the Production Honda] came by me the punch that he has just dropped me off the turns, especially in first gear. We're OK when the corners let you build momentum but the really slow stuff is where they gap us under acceleration.
“I'll go home happy though because we got close to the maximum from the package, it's only for 16th place, but I didn't feel that there was much left in it."