Eugene Laverty says the Milwaukee Aprilia 'feels like my bike again' after strong progress at Portimao and heads to the 2017 World Superbike opener at Phillip Island in a confident frame of mind.
The ex-MotoGP rider ended the final day of the Portimao test second quickest on the timesheet with a best lap of 1m 42.002s after a tricky opening two-day test at Jerez.
Laverty says his feeling with the RSV4-RF is returning towards a similar set-up and sensation from his last campaign with the Italian manufacturer when he finished runner-up in the 2013 World Superbike championship.
"Sunday was a big improvement for us. I made good progress Saturday but I was still having to fight the bike, whereas I was able to do a lot of laps and really get it feeling like my bike again,” Laverty said. “I feel like I can race with it now, and I felt comfortable on the race and qualifying tyres.
“It's been a very productive two days, much better than Jerez, and we made big breakthroughs to resolve the chatter I was having.
“I'm feeling confident for Round 1 at Phillip Island; we have a good base to work from and the team is working really well together. It's one of my favourite tracks to ride, and with another test there I think we're in a good position to really move forward."
Laverty and team-mate Lorenzo Savadori will now prepare for the final pre-season test at Phillip Island just days before the 2017 season opener at the Australia circuit on the 24-26 February.