Eugene Laverty says he can understand why fans didn't believe him when he insisted his Aprilia package was a step up from the Yamaha he rode in 2011, but feels he has now turned a corner after an indifferent start to the 2012 season.
Following his race-winning rookie season with Yamaha last year, the Irishman began 2012 as a firm title favourite following his switch to Aprilia, but while he managed to notch up two podiums during the first seven rounds, it was tempered by relatively inconsistent results compared to championship leading team-mate Max Biaggi.
Despite this, Laverty has remained positive throughout this period and was vindicated when Aprilia discovered a technical issue that had been causing problems with acceleration at Donington Park, Miller Motorsports Park and Misano.
“These bikes are so complicated now and with a brain of their own they can sometimes go against the rider,” he wrote in his latest blog. “I went into every race worried that I was going to cause an accident because I couldn't accelerate out of a corner and so the only chance I had of overtaking was taking a huge lunge at the rider in front.”
With the technical issues cured, Laverty subsequently enjoyed his strongest weekend of the year last time out at Motorland Aragon, scoring his third podium of the year and going some way to showing his competitiveness aboard the RSV4.
“I've had some odd looks when explaining to people that the Aprilia is a great package, a step up from last year even. I could almost hear them thinking, “So why the hell are you riding around in the middle of the pack?”
“I can't blame them to be honest, nor do I hold it against the fans that began to doubt me. Fact is there are so many riders out there who talk crap and that makes it difficult to distinguish between the honest man and the 'Bobby Bullshitter'.
“It was so nice to stand on the podium again at Aragon after three incredibly tough rounds. I'd envisaged regular podium finishes throughout the season following a successful pre-season testing program and I believe that we can achieve that from here on in.”
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Laverty is eyeing podiums at every meeting, starting with this weekend's ninth round at Brno.
“All I can do is aim to win races now and who knows, I might even be able to work my way back towards the top three in the championship. We had a great test on Monday after the Aragon race weekend and we've made big leaps forward with the Aprilia.
“From six race starts at Brno I've never yet stood on the rostrum so hopefully I can change that on Sunday. At the end of the day a circuit is just a bunch of corners grouped together in a field and so there's no such thing as a bogie track. Of course one may not come just as easy as another but with a little studying that can soon be rectified.”
Laverty is currently seventh in the overall standings, 16 points behind sixth place man Leon Haslam.