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MotoGP Catalunya: Laverty: Not the kind of race you enjoy

Eugene Laverty believes his race in Barcelona was undermined by extreme tyre wear and a series of tough moves in the opening laps.
Eugene Laverty was unable to take pleasure in the 25-lap MotoGP slog in Barcelona as a series of tough overtaking moves and severe tyre wear left him in 13th place.

On paper the Montmeló circuit, with its numerous heavy braking areas and long straight, appeared tailor made for the Aspar Ducati GP14.2. Indeed Laverty's pace in free practice suggested another strong top ten finish was possible.

Hot temperatures reduced grip in the afternoon, and despite making a strong start, the 30-year old “got beaten up” by a succession of moves by men “riding like crazy” in the first two laps.

“It was not the kind of race we enjoy as riders,” began Laverty, whose 3 points secured for 13th stretch his point-scoring run to seven consecutive races. “You want to be putting lap record pace toward the end. It dropped two and a half seconds per lap because the tyres were done.

“I made a great start. I was into twelfth. I tried to hold my position but the problem was some of the guys around me were using so much the rear tyre; Aleix Espargaro, Scott Redding, Yonny Hernandez… These guys all passed me and pushed me wide but in the end they went backwards.

“I was aware that these guys were riding like crazy in the first laps, that's the only way to say it. I was just trying to hold my position without murdering my tyre. I was trying to use my brain because some guys don't. I got beaten up and it cost me positions unfortunately.

“There's smoke coming from the tyre on lap two and that's not clever. They can say all they want about this and that but if you were asking me to make a bet on lap two which guys were going to go backwards I could have told you exactly which ones because I saw it with my eyes.

“I think some guys forget that it's a 25-lap race. Those guys that were using up their tyres were the same ones that hit me when they overtook me so they were riding like crazy.”

While the top three in Sunday's race were able to maintain a steady pace in the closing laps, the majority of the field suffered a severe drop off in grip.

Come the penultimate lap, Laverty's pace had fallen more than two seconds from the race's first half. The Northern Irishman admitted the settings to ensure the power was delivered in the most manageable way for tyres lacking grip were not what they should have been.

“With the Ducati you have power and you have to choose to use it in the right places. In hindsight I think we used a bit too much power in places. Last year the race could be really slippery and the lap times slower on the Bridgestones. With the Michelins it's hard to know. It can be really hot in the afternoon and you think the lap times are going to be slower, but they're not. You end up having the grip so you can use the power.

“Right away from the start of this race I saw that the track was really slippery. I thought we used too much power. My fastest lap was 0.7s slower than what I thought it'd be. We had the power reduction set to lap almost one second faster but it was clear we had too much power for the conditions.”

Laverty's result sees him slip one place to eleventh in the world championship, two points behind factory Ducati rider Andrea Iannone. The Aspar Ducati team did not partake in the post-race test in Barcelona on Monday.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Laverty, Catalunya MotoGP Race 2016
Redding, German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, Kallio, Zarco German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, Kallio, Zarco German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, Iannone German MotoGP race 2017
Dovizioso, Lorenzo, Aleix Espargaro German MotoGP race 2017
Smith, Redding German MotoGP race 2017
Kallio, Iannone German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, German MotoGP race 2017
Miller, Iannone German MotoGP race 2017
Lorenzo, Iannone, German MotoGP 2017
Aleix Espargaro, German MotoGP 2017
Aleix Espargaro, German MotoGP 2017
Pol Espargaro, German MotoGP 2017
Lorenzo, Iannone, Petrucci German MotoGP 2017
Zarco, Lorenzo, Iannone German MotoGP 2017
Aleix Espargaro, Crutchlow German MotoGP 2017

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June 09, 2016 3:48 PM

I'd rather see him race in the back to mid-grid in MotoGP than be another contender in WSBK, but that's the beauty of personal preference. I can also understand why someone would prefer to see him dice at the front in a lower class of racing. That's not to denigrate WSBK, but it isn't the Premier Class. EL is doing a great job, banking points every race. The 14.2 is not as nimble as most other bikes on the grid, but it has formidable power...Hector is also doing very well with it. It would be better if they had access to more recent kit though - they'd be more competitive, and Ducati would get more useful feedback.

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