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MotoGP Valencia: Laverty 'down before my knee was on the ground'

"I never like to be qualifying near the Aprilias because they are the loudest bike on the grid, so you can't hear your own engine!"
Eugene Laverty will start his final MotoGP race before returning to World Superbike from 19th on the grid at Valencia, after a fall in qualifying.

The Aspar Ducati rider was caught out by a cold tyre, leaving him at least one row behind where he believes he could have been.

"Same old problem. I crashed at Turn 4 last year as well. I've also crashed at Sachsenring, Misano… I don't know how many times on a cold tyre," Laverty said. "This time it wasn't right away, on a slow lap. I was trying to be more patient with it.

"But it still went on the third lap, with not much lean angle, quite early… So I was caught out. It's also about how I set the bike up. I have to be a little more careful than the other riders.

"I ride the bike on the rear so there's not a lot of load on the front. So without much load at the front if the tyre's not quite got the temperature… The other guys can attack it more, whereas I get caught out more often it seems and this year's been a pain in the arse for that.

"I've been shit through that sector all weekend. Qualifying was the first time I tried to brake with any sort of angle and I was down before my knee was on the ground.

"I'm treating it like any other race weekend and not thinking about it as my last MotoGP, but it's just frustrating to have that crash because we know we could have been 14-15th. The bike is generally working pretty good, but starting 19th makes it hard for us so I'll need a good start and try to go with the guys in front.

"I'm torn between the two front tyres. A lot of people have tried [the 2017] and said there was not much difference. I felt that at first, but then when I went back from the other one it does feel like a bigger difference in terms of the turning. It might feel more evident for us as our bike is known for not turning."

Laverty will be starting directly behind the factory RS-GPs of Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl - the machine he will test for Aprilia next week, alongside his WorldSBK commitments.

"I was riding along with Alvaro in the first session yesterday and then Stefan in the second. So it was good to get a look at them. But I never like to be qualifying near them because they are the loudest bike on the grid, so you can't hear your own engine!" Laverty revealed.

"It's happened to me a few times this year where I've fluffed starts because I'm listening to their bike and I only know my revs have died because I headbutt the screen! It's a such a loud bike!"

By Peter McLaren

Tagged as: Eugene Laverty

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