Eugene Laverty could not hide his disappointment at finishing twelfth in the MotoGP race at Sepang, as a lack of confidence in the first six laps ultimately dashed his hopes of placing inside the top ten.
The Northern Irishman made slow early progress, as he languished in 20th place on lap six while struggling to find any form of feel when braking in treacherous wet conditions.
But by lap nine, Laverty was on the move, and had climbed to twelfth four laps later as conditions improved. As he inched toward Pol Espargaro and Danilo Petrucci during the closing laps, the Aspar Ducati man was lapping the Sepang circuit faster than the leaders.
Frustrating then, that Laverty ran out of laps, leaving him outside the top ten when he knew a better result was just within reach.
“I'm disappointed in myself because at the start I didn't ride so good,” said Laverty, who wrote on Twitter that he had ridden “like a wally” early on.
“Honestly I didn't have a good feeling with the bike when there was a lot of water. I didn't have confidence. Mainly I was losing in the braking.
“But once I started to get some confidence when the track wasn't so wet my lap times were fantastic. I was coming fast like the first guys. I'm disappointed that I lost too much in the first six laps. The damage was done already.
“Really I came forward so strong to arrive twelfth. We were even catching the group in front. Unfortunately there weren't enough laps remaining to catch these guys in the group that were fighting for seventh or eighth.
“So our pace was fantastic at the end but at the beginning I just didn't have the confidence to brake. It was a lost opportunity. The bike was good today. It was just at the start when I wasn't so strong.”
Valencia is not only the Aspar Ducati team's home race, it will be Laverty's last in the premier class, as a move across to the World Superbike series beckons. The aim is to go out on a high.
“It would be nice to finish with a great result. It's the team's home race. It's a very important one for the team and their sponsors so I'm going to try and go for the best race possible.
“It's difficult to say what could be possible. A top ten would be nice. That's what we're aiming for, now we're twelfth in the championship. We'll try and get the best finish possible. A top ten would be the goal.”