Eugene Laverty says he has regained his confidence following two potentially pivotal World Superbike Championship race wins at Istanbul Park, the Irishman hauling himself back into title contention with just three rounds remaining.
Having qualified in fourth position, Laverty spent much of his day following the fast-starting Kawasaki of Tom Sykes, but stronger pace during the second-half of each race would see him ascend into a lead he would maintain to the chequered flag.
His first double victory in WSBK since his maiden triumphs at Monza in 2011, Laverty was particularly pleased to win given he wasn't expecting it.
“My last double win was at Monza in 2011,” he said. “This two wins feel particularly good because I wasn't really expecting them. I'm really pleased, in both races our bike was set up perfectly, especially toward the end of the race when the tyres were starting to deteriorate and that is what allowed me to win with such a big gap. My team was even able to improve after race one, so despite a similar pace I was able to ride much more easily.”
Reducing the margin to the leaders in the overall standings to 26 points, Laverty says the wins have gone a long way to raising his confidence on the RSV4 in time for the crucial three-round title showdown.
“I'm back in the running for the championship, but above all I've regained confidence and that makes me hopeful for the coming rounds.”
Meanwhile, Laverty has seemingly revealed that he will be exiting Aprilia last season after posting a message on Twitter saying he is 'on the look-out for a new job'
. The Irishman's place is tipped to have been taken by Marco Melandri.