For the second race in succession Eugene Laverty finished in the points in a MotoGP encounter but was unhappy to finish over ten seconds behind the fastest 'Open' machine.

Laverty brought his Team Aspar Honda home in 15th after a difficult weekend that saw him suffer a familiar front-end fall on Friday.

Having battled with Hector Barbera and Alvaro Bautista early on in his first premier class race at Mugello, Laverty struggled in the closing stages as Loris Baz, the top 'Open' bike, finished 11 seconds ahead.

Related Articles

Still, a single point was some cause for optimism for Laverty. "My two toughest weekends of the year have brought my two point scoring finishes," he said. "It's a strange feeling because I'm disappointed. Yet they've been my best results. It's hard to be happy when I'm ten seconds from where I need to be really. In a positive way we're starting to get some points after finishing so far from outside.

"The first two thirds of the race were consistent. In the last third the bike became really difficult. We're going in the right direction at least. If we compare to Jerez the first third of the race the bike was ok and then after that it was really difficult to ride. We're starting to get the bike balanced better. If we keep working in that way hopefully we can have a balance that's good for the entire race."

On Saturday the Northern Irishman complained that his bike wouldn't turn easily in Mugello's succession of fast, flowing s-bends. Speaking after the race Laverty revealed that the same problems persisted.

"It's still our issue. Our bike was tough from the beginning but at least I could fight it for two thirds. In the last part of the race it was too difficult. I couldn't accelerate like the other riders. I couldn't change direction like they could.

"When the tyre starts to slide that problem becomes worse. It's something we need to work on. It's been our issue all year. Our strongest point is the braking. We need to sacrifice it a little bit and we have been doing that. We've been gaining experience."

Laverty's result sees him remain in sixth in the 'Open' rider classification.