Though disappointed to fall just a few corners short of his first World Superbike Championship win of the season, Eugene Laverty says he is merely happy to have shown front running pace at Motorland Aragon.
The Irishman has endured a rollercoaster first year with Aprilia, but came to Spain confident of a turnaround having cured a persistent electrical issue that had afflicted him for the last three rounds.
Qualifying on the front row for the first time this season, though tyre problems consigned Laverty to fifth place in race one, he turned in a spirited challenge to weekend pace setters Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi during race two.
Twice fighting back to lead across several laps, Laverty struck to the front with four laps remaining and attempted to decisively gap his rivals. However, a charging Melandri would get the better of Laverty on the final lap with a determined pass at an unexpected place on the circuit.
Nonetheless, while Laverty was frustrated to be just 0.042secs off a much anticipated victory, the result still represents a substantial boost for his confidence.
“I came here with the goal of getting on the podium and I achieved that. It was a shame for race one. I didn't have the grip to keep up with the lead pack and I finished fifth.
“Before the second race we made some changes that allowed me to ride significantly better, even enough to get out in front. In the last lap Marco overtook me where I didn't expect it, but second place is still an excellent result that lets me leave the difficulties of the last few rounds behind me.”
Laverty's podium, his third of the season, lifts him to seventh in the overall standings.