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Le Mans MotoGP: Laverty confident of being leading 'CRT' rider

"Every other bike on the grid has a torque control map whereas ours is a bit of guesswork" - Michael Laverty.
Michael Laverty was out-qualified by his team-mate Broc Parkes for tomorrow's French MotoGP, however the Ulsterman believes he is in a stronger position for the race.

The PBM rider was forced to use the harder tyre in qualifying having suffered from handling problems with the super-soft option.

Speaking exclusively to Laverty said:

"I'm happy enough with qualifying," said Laverty. "We've got the bike working well on the hard tyre and can make a consistent pace but when we put in the soft tyre it made the bike a little bit unstable and as I pushed harder it was getting more unsettled and I was getting pushed wide and the soft tyre was collapsing a little bit so I couldn't get any advantage with it. I came in and put on the hard tyre and did my best laptime with it so I'll probably race that tomorrow.

"Normally it's not an issue to put in the soft tyre and it gives an increase in laptime but overall I'm quite happy and we've got the bike working good. I think that tomorrow we should be able to beat the Kawasakis of Barbera and di Meglio and that's the aim for tomorrow. The customer Hondas seem to be substantially stronger than us so that's not a realistic goal for tomorrow. We'll try and get in and beat Hector. He's had a few crashes this weekend but his pace is close to ours. Hopefully we can beat him and grab a few points."

When asked what were the main issues with the bike at Le Mans Laverty once again stressed that the team's need to develop a better electronics package will be key for them making a step forward in the coming races however the progress compared to last year clearly has given him plenty of encouragement:

"We've a lot of wheelspin and wheelie here. That seems to be what happens and when the other bikes can drive out of the corner with good mechanical grip we slide or wheelie. But apart from that the bike feels good and I feel that I can stop and turn it whereas last year I couldn't and I'd run wide a lot. I'm able to hit my apexes this weekend whereas last year I was overshotting a lot so it's a lot more enjoyable to ride this year but around here you notice the lack of acceleration that we have. Some of it is chassis but I think that a lot of it is electronics."

Laverty also admitted that changes to the Bridgestone tyres for this year have also accentuated the issue, but that he has tried numerous changes to his riding and the setup of the bike to combat the problem:

"I think that the new generation of Bridgestone's have a little bit less edge grip and you have to get onto the drive grip area of the tyre quicker. It increases your top speed at the end of the straights as well but we've got to try and find more drive out of the corners.

"We're working on improving my body position and how I connect to the throttle but it's not making a bit difference. I think it's electronics mostly though. Every other bike on the grid has a torque control map whereas ours is a bit of guesswork.

"The boys are hoping to get some dyno work done at home and create an accurate torque curve and I think that for me that's where we can improve."

With Ioda's Danilo Petrucci missing the race through injury, the BM riders will be the only Aprilia powered machines on the grid.

Tagged as: Eugene Laverty , PBM

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