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Spain MotoGP: Laverty: I'm riding the best I have in MotoGP

Michael Laverty feels he is riding better than ever in MotoGP as he continues his quest to close the gap to the Open bikes.
Michael Laverty will line up 21st on the grid for the Grand Prix of Spain with the Irishman having a competitive outing in Q1, but after a promising opening day to the weekend Laverty was somewhat disappointed not to have been able to claim a qualifying scalp of some Open bikes.

The Paul Bird Motorsport rider had been hoping to get closer to the likes of Nicky Hayden, Hiroshi Aoyama and Karel Abraham, but was otherwise content to be ahead of both Avintia bikes and team-mate Broc Parkes.

"I did my best lap of the weekend in qualifying. I put in a soft tyre and did a 41.1s lap which is pretty good but ideally I wanted to go faster.

“We're not too far away and when the track heats up in the afternoon we're not too far from the pace of the other Open bikes but Hiro, Nicky and Abraham are going pretty fast around here on the customer Honda and it suits their bike around here because there's no big straights where they lost out to the Factory bikes. Their bike stops and turns well so it'll be tough to hang with them tomorrow.

"Basically we'll be battling with the CRT's in the race. Petrucci piped me in qualifying but I'm ahead of Broc, di Meglio and Barbera. I think that Barbera had a bit of an issue, he's been fast all weekend. I think that he'll be the one to beat in the CRT battle in the race but the gap to the Open guys is too big around here. The bike seems to work well in the heat here and if we can keep the tyre through the race we seem to have a good consistent pace."

The season has seen Laverty, now in his second year in MotoGP, mature on track with increased competitiveness and consistency during races.

However, racing on full fuel tanks has been a problem for Laverty and while the team are designing a new fuel tank for later in the season, no date has been confirmed for when they expect to race it.

In the meantime, those early laps Laverty says he is losing time relative to the Open Hondas, but he says the pace is more comparable later in the race.

"I'm losing time early doors when the Open bikes can use their extra punch. In the second half of races I can do similar times to them but at the start they can gap me. We don't have that extra punch. We're losing out when we shouldn't be, we're getting out the corners as fast as we can but it's not as fast as everyone else who have a bit more torque and horsepower.

"It'll be tough to race them because they seem to be going well on used tyres, probably faster than me if I'm honest, but Abraham was behind me yesterday in the heat so maybe they've figured something for when the track is slick. Nicky and Hiro look to be going pretty fast though."

Having found eight tenths of a second between Friday and Saturday Laverty was clearly disappointed not to have been able to fight with the likes of Yonny Hernandez, Scott Redding and Karel Abraham in qualifying.

"I'm a bit disappointed because it looked like we could have done something more for this weekend. It's a bit frustrating because we found eight tenths and those other guys found even more than that. We're handicapped by our engine and it does get frustrating but you've got to just keep plugging away. I'd love to say that there's 15-20 horsepower coming to us to fix that hole in acceleration but I don't know where that'll come from. We'll get new exhausts from Aprilia soon but I don't think that there's anything coming from the engine.

" I'll keep trying and I think that I'm riding probably the best that I ever have in MotoGP over the last couple of races and I'll get stuck in during the race and if a few of the Factory bikes drop out we might be able to score points which would be a good achievement for us."

Tagged as: Eugene Laverty , PBM

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