A day after his fine showing in the Spanish Grand Prix, Eugene Laverty was content to use Monday's test in Andalusia to experiment with geometry settings, “something we can't change too much on a race weekend.”
The Northern Irishman said none of the adjustments made on Monday “stood out”, but the test was nonetheless useful as it allowed Laverty to gain more kilometres on Ducati's GP14.2.
“[We worked] Mostly geometry because that's something we can't change too much on a race weekend,” said Laverty on Monday. “We did a bit on Friday from one bike to the other. We also changed some things with rider position. Some of the things we hoped would work didn't but we learnt from that as well. There was nothing that stood out but the bike worked pretty well here anyway.
“The bike seems to work pretty well compared to the Bridgestones. Sometimes the Ducati struggles through areas like that [fast right corners]. We're just trying to find out what the issue is. It's not a simple thing, I've been trying to work out what I can do. Hector [Barbera] is riding it like a 250, old-school style, on the side of the tyre, using huge corner speed. He's pretty good at that actually.”
Laverty ended the test 19th but wasn't overly concerned with the lap time, as it came a day after a storming top-ten result at the Spanish Grand Prix.
His ninth place was the latest in a string of confidence-boosting showings that has seen the 29-year old move up to ninth in the championship standings, a place ahead of factory Ducati rider Andrea Iannone.
“That's our best yet,” explained the Toomebridge rider after Sunday's race. “Argentina was great, a surreal feeling, whereas this is a real sense of achievement. I couldn't really have put together a better race.”
“Argentina was a short race [but] hat's the closest we've been. We're always looking to be around that. A 27-lap race, 32 seconds, just a little more than a second a lap when you take away that first lap loss – you lose a good three seconds – is where we're aiming to be.
“My fastest lap of the race was around one second off the fastest so that's bang on. If I had qualified higher up it would have made it a lot easier. I thought we had a good chance but got held up in Q1. That can happen sometimes so I think all in all we had a solid weekend.”
While other Ducati riders struggled to adapt their set-up to Michelin's harder rear tyre, Laverty explained how is style is such that a lack of grip worked to his benefit.
“I've never relied on rear grip for my riding style. I like to turn the bike on the rear a lot of the time. With the tyres last year I was so keen to ride because a lot of Honda riders had complained of a lack of rear grip. I thought, 'I don't need rear grip, it's great!' Now with the harder construction, it's really affecting some riders. With me, it doesn't really affect my riding style.”