Eugene Laverty heads into the winter off-season on a confidence high after setting an unofficial lap record during the final day of World Superbike testing at Portimao.
The Irishman continued his successful adaptation to Aprilia machinery as he lapped the Portuguese circuit in 1min 42.7secs on race tyres, just below the previous marker of 1min 42.774secs posted by new team-mate Max Biaggi in 2010.
Biaggi himself was just fractionally slower than Laverty, who switches to Aprilia following a season with Yamaha, on 1min 42.8secs, while Ayrton Badovini was also on form as he ended the test as the fastest BMW rider on 1min 43.1secs.
Having set the pace on the first two days of testing, Leon Haslam would actually record the best time of the entire test with a 1min 42.2secs, though this was achieved on qualifying tyres, unlike the Aprilia contingent, which lapped exclusively on race rubber. On race tyres, Haslam – and new team-mate Marco Melandri - set a best of 1min 43.1secs.
Chaz Davies ended his first proper test on the ParkinGO Aprilia in sixth place, setting an encouraging best of 1min 43.2secs, while Leon Camier brought his times right down to 1min 43.8secs to bring the Crescent Suzuki closer to the competition. Michel Fabrizio and Alastair Seeley followed on 1min 43.9secs and 1min 44.1secs.
The end of the Portimao three-day test in turn heralds the start of the WSBK winter test ban, which will last until January 15th.