Eugene Laverty has vowed to return to form at the next World Supersport Championship round after rear grip issues left him a disappointing fifth in Valencia.
The Irishman was full of confidence at the end of qualifying after breaking the lap record on the way to pole position, but while he held down the lead in the early stages he was passed by Joan Lascorz, Chaz Davies and Kenan Sofuoglu by lap seven.
From here, Laverty fell away from podium contention, slipping into the clutches of David Salom and eventually being demoted to fifth three laps from the finish.
Coupled to his disappointing result in Portugal, Laverty is now 24 points behind new leader Lascorz in the standings, but the Parkalgar Honda rider insists he will come back stronger at Assen in two weeks time.
“I struggled for rear grip for the entire race. I choose the same tyre that worked yesterday but it was warmer today. This tyre and setting are good for me as it gives feel and for one-lap it is great, hence our two pole positions but for racing it is not performing.
“I am going to have to go back to settings that are not quite as good for feel but give more grip over a race distance. We have been here before and we know what to do. I was nursing my tyre right to the end – I had so many moments both front and rear. The result is better than Portugal and we will be back at Assen stronger than ever, that I promise.”
Team-mate Miguel Praia, meanwhile, endured a long afternoon after injuries sustained in a crash during qualifying left him with a sprained wrist.
“I have had better days but it was important I finish the race and I am glad I did. After three laps I thought inside the top eight was possible but the pain came and it was too much. I sprained my wrist in my qualifying crash yesterday and I lost all sensation during the race, making it very hard to use the clutch at all; which meant I lost a lot of time.
“The only thing for me was to finish and that's what I did. It is a shame, on a normal day I could've been much higher but this weekend was difficult after my crash. We have the speed, bike and ability for the top eight for sure and I will be ready for the next race at Assen.”