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MotoGP Assen: Laverty: First time I can look at race optimistically

Eugene Laverty may have qualified in 19th for the Dutch MotoGP but he's confident his pace on used tyres will shine through in Saturday's race
Eugene Laverty chose to look at the positives on a Friday at Assen where he qualified 19th for the Dutch round of the MotoGP series.

The Northern Irishman has consistently placed as the top 'Open' Honda throughout race weekend and ended Q1 a place ahead of Jack Miller and three of team-mate Nicky Hayden.

Using the new rear swingarm for the first time after the post-race test in Montmeló was cut short, Laverty feels the component gives his machine greater feel on new tyres.

“My qualifying position isn't dreadful and it isn't fantastic,” he said. “My first new tyre in qualifying I did a good lap time and my second lap was pretty much inch perfect but with the second tyre I just didn't put together a really good lap.

“I'm content with qualifying though because the bike is feeling good on used tyres and being the top Open Honda is good and we're doing what we can. We're 19th so it's difficult to be happy with that but the race is where it counts and this is probably the first time that I can look at a race optimistically. The new swingarm is helping and on new tyres the bike feels really good.

“We're definitely back closer to where we want to be. I was really pushing hard for the swingarm because I knew that it was something that I really wanted as opposed to just wanting a new and shiny part.”

Riding on a track he knows well for his days in Worlds Supersport and Superbike, Laverty believes the 2.8 mile circuit is more suited to the 'Open' Yamahas of Stefan Bradl and Loris Baz. Still, he feels the new swingarm's potential will be visible in upcoming circuits.

“We've made a step back to being the top Open Honda but this isn't a Honda circuit so that's why we're a little bit behind the Forward Yamaha's but it's positive for the upcoming rounds which will suit the Open Honda.”

Speaking on Friday afternoon, Laverty went on to say the threat of rain that has lingered throughout the Dutch race weekend and the need for a second bike with wet settings has prevented him from testing any drastic settings.

“It was unfortunate that we didn't get to test the swingarm in Catalunya because we could have done with time to play around with the geometry. It feels better already but we've had to change the bike around. If this was a normal GP weekend we'd move from one bike to the other with different settings but because of the unpredictable weather here you have to play it safe and have two bikes that are similar.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Laverty, Dutch MotoGP 2015
Hayden after crash, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Miller Australian MotoGP 2016
Bradl, Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Redding Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Redding Australian MotoGP 2016
Laverty, Australian MotoGP 2016
Petrucci, Hayden Australian MotoGP 2016
Petrucci, Hayden Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Bradl, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Miller, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Miller fans, Australian MotoGP 2016
Miller, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Miller, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Miller, Petrucci, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Miller, Australian MotoGP Race 2016

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