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Laverty: Corner entry quicker on a Superbike

"I was surprised I could pull time on them on corner entry" – Eugene Laverty.
In the space of two weeks in November, Eugene Laverty rode two different MotoGP bikes and a WorldSBK machine.

The Irishman finished his full-time MotoGP career on an Aspar Ducati at Valencia, made his debut on the Aprilia RS-GP in the following test, then began preparations for his 2017 World Superbike return on an Aprilia RSV4 at Jerez.

Laverty's last day at Jerez also saw him on track at the same time as some MotoGP riders, allowing an interesting comparison.

"Horsepower is the biggest difference, but we can brake pretty strongly," Laverty said. "The rest - mid-corner to exit and down the straight – they [MotoGP bikes] do get going, but I was surprised I could pull time on them on corner entry."

The new Milwaukee Aprilia rider added that the character of the WorldSBK Pirelli allows for harder final braking than the MotoGP Michelin.

"It's not like everyone thinks with the Pirelli front tyre; you need to really squeeze the brake in final braking," he said. "This year we haven't been able to and I've got into a style of not braking so strongly.

"So I'm improving there, but it takes time after a season of not being able to do that."

And is there much difference between the RSV4 superbike and its RS-GP 'big brother'?

"I expected the superbike to feel longer, chunkier and all the rest. But the bike feels really similar. It's a proper little race bike isn't it? It's the tyres and horsepower that are the main difference," Laverty said.

"The superbike feels easier in one respect because the horsepower is less, but around a track like this the thing is moving around and you are having to work hard."

Laverty will be an Aprilia MotoGP test rider next season, alongside his WorldSBK race commitments.

By Peter McLaren

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December 09, 2016 12:01 PM

Concerning the earlier crashed thread about "World Superbike stars have their say on grid changes" Arbitrarily penalising the fastest riders for their success is not my idea of fair racing. They may as well have the grid in alphabetical order of their mother's maiden name


December 09, 2016 12:12 PM

In regards to Rea's impressive race simulation, one has to wonder how a motogp bike would fare with these Pirelli tires. It's quite intriguing. A superbike exhibiting so much pace over 20 laps, I mean the Italian rubbers must have some pretty decent grip and a nice balance between front and rear. Stoner claimed several times in the past that there's a conceptual mismatch between Michelin's front and their rear tyre, the number of front-end crashes this season raise once again the question.

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