UPDATE: Monday's rain meant Eugene Laverty was unable to test the new swingarm, but he is expected to try it during free practice at Assen.

Eugene Laverty will have a new swingarm to test in Monday's post-race shakedown at Barcelona after finishing a career best twelfth in Sunday's Catalunya MotoGP.

The Northern Irishman was frustrated by the lack of new parts coming his way after two new swingarms were made available to Aspar team-mate Nicky Hayden after the fourth round of the series.

Related Articles

As recently as Friday Laverty had voiced his vexation as Monday's test loomed with a lack of parts to try, but after a promising showing in Montmel? he revealed the factory's change of heart.

"Honda has let us know they're going to let us use the new swingarm in the test tomorrow which is good," he said. "It's what I wanted and a big thanks to Honda for giving it to us when we need it. Our next test is in Brno, a long time away. You can't be looking to test a swingarm during a race weekend so I'm really pleased to have the chance to test it here.

"This track is probably a really good one to do it because like I said in those last eight laps in the corners I was giving away because of a lot of movement. It's a really good place to test it so we can see the benefits there."

Laverty had quipped on Friday that he expected to have the part made available "before Christmas." "[There is] more chance of me getting a pension than that swingarm on Monday," he had said.

Yet come Sunday Laverty joked he had got his dates confused."[It's] Quite a few months before! Just after my birthday so I got it mixed up. It was a birthday present."

Turning to Sunday's race, Laverty was heartened by overnight improvements as set up changes tempered his 'Open' Honda's rear imbalance and also aided him when braking with a full fuel tank.

"Friday started good but yesterday was such a tough day. We were losing our direction. When you have a crash like that it's easy to lose a bit of confidence when you're pushing the bike. It was difficult to find where we could improve but in morning warm-up we made another change and improved the bike for the race. In the end it was a satisfactory result.

"We got a little lost. In the race we went in the direction we know. The problem we've been struggling with in the lot of rounds, with the bike being rear biased, we've improved that as well. At the end I was strong. In warm up we noticed we struggled to stop the bike with the full fuel tank. We made a change to the front of the bike to help and it was a really good benefit in the race."

Despite having finished in the points in the previous two rounds, Laverty had been unhappy at finishing far off the other 'Open' machines of Loris Baz and Jack Miller. Yet on Sunday Laverty resisted Baz on the final lap to clinch four world championship points and was just one place and two seconds back of Miller.

"Definitely a positive because I think in Le Mans and Mugello I really rode the maximum for the whole race," said the 29-year old. "In this one, after the front end crashes in the first few laps I was very careful. I folded the front a few times with the full fuel tank so I gave a little bit away. Then afterwards I was actually catching those guys whereas in Mugello I was riding my ass off and they were getting away. It's nice as a rider to feel strong and reel the guys in rather than dropping backwards."

The result was more heartening considering Laverty crashed twice on Saturday, the first of which - at the downhill turn five - knocked him around in the gravel trap.

"The first one was big. I was pretty beaten up after that one. I woke up this morning feeling good. I had some physio yesterday and was fine this morning. It was more the head. I went head first into the gravel. That suppressed all my back down and winded me pretty badly. I needed to get myself sorted out because it felt like my head down inside my shoulders. I felt good in the race and got my confidence back after a rough day yesterday."


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment

bikenutter: I really hope Aprilia pay off his contract and bring him on board instead of Melandri, that would be sweeet[\blockquote]

Are you & Bikenutter saying that Aprilia MotoGP team have put an offer to buy MLav's contract from Tyco BMW, pay it out and bring him in to replace Marco? Where did you guys read that whisper?