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Australia: Laverty: You leave pit lane and you’re spinning

Eugene Laverty makes strides on Saturday afternoon, qualifying 16th but still feels his electronics package isn't providing sufficient rear grip.
Eugene Laverty has said the higher temperatures at Phillip Island on Saturday worked in his favour as he produced a solid qualifying performance to lap just 0.04s off the top 'Open' time.

Having stated that he felt Phillip Island would be his best chance of a strong result in the remainder of 2015 at Aragon, Laverty was deflated at the close of day one as a chronic lack of rear grip hindered his progress.

A day later and the Aspar Honda man was still having grip issues, even going as far as saying it was “horrible” in certain corners, but the raised temperatures “takes grip away from the others”, bringing them down to the Northern Irishman's level.

Now confirmed to remain in the Aspar squad for 2016 aboard Ducati machinery, Laverty qualified 16th and feels the top 'Open' slot is within reach on Sunday's race after he made progress in FP4.

“Yesterday afternoon was so difficult,” he explained. “Everyone was lacking rear grip but there was a little spinning and there was a lot. I was in a different category to the other guys so I improved a lot today and was so close to the top 'Open' machine.

“The set-up for the rear was the main thing. It's weird because the direction wasn't clear. The tyres are different here so what normally applies doesn't here. They act differently here. They just want to spin. You leave pit lane and you're already spinning. The important thing was to find some stability so more stability was the key.

“It was only half a tenth to Barbera as the top 'Open'. Here we made progress in FP4, I think we were P15 so our pace is more realistic here compared to Japan, which was one lap out of nowhere. I like the higher temperature here too, the hotter it is the more slippy it is. It takes the grip away from the others and I don't have any grip anyway so I'm good to go.

“We're going to aim for that top 'Open'. 16th is good considering the weekend so far but before the weekend I honestly expected more. This was the track where I though we would be Q2 but we're half a second from what I thought.

“I knew the track would suit the style of our bike but the one thing I hadn't taken into consideration was these Bridgestone tyres are spinning so much here and our electronics aren't taken care on the exit of the corner.

“Compared to Jack's traction control, which is more factory-like. He's got a lot of aid on the exit. That's a bit of a disappointment because when I'm following some guys I'm hanging with them in some areas but out of a few corners, on corner exit, we're screwed. That's the frustrating thing. I expected to be at the sharp end here but our traction control and power control just isn't good enough on corner exit.

“Siberia is horrible. Marquez passed me, Viñales passed me and I thought, 'Wow! I'm hanging with these guys'. And then you lose a quarter of a second out of Siberia. Even out of corner two, anywhere it's going up or down we struggle. But it's nice to confirm areas where the bike is nimble. Corner one, the Hayshed, I actually take time out of those guys and there aren't many times I've been able to say that this year.”

Asked to reveal his tyre choice, Laverty is sure he will opt for the soft rear tyre and the harder option front.

“I'm going to go for it [the soft rear]. We spin on whatever tyre. While I make a nice controlled slide it snaps on the hard. I need the grip of the soft. I'm pretty sure for the race I'll go with the harder option [rear] for safety because you don't know how this place can be.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Laverty, Australian MotoGP 2015
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden after crash, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Barbera, Smith Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Miller Australian MotoGP 2016
Bradl, Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
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Hayden, Redding Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Redding Australian MotoGP 2016
Laverty, Australian MotoGP 2016
Petrucci, Hayden Australian MotoGP 2016
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Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
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Rossi, Crutchlow, Vinales, Australian MotoGP 2016
Miller, Barbera, Bradl Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Miller, Hayden, Petrucci Australian MotoGP Race 2016

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October 17, 2015 4:03 PM

Hey,you will have Ducati material for next year I'm sure it will be better than this crappy bike, don't get any illusions of being higher than 15th unless it rains, you are a good rider but sadly riding a mutt of a bike.

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