Eugene Laverty says the development steps he’s enjoyed with the Milwaukee Aprilia have been substantial despite results not demonstrating those gains after a fall in race two.

Laverty was unlucky to miss out on the top nine reversed grid for race two after finishing 10th in the opening race at the Lausitzring but was confident with his race pace on the RSV4 RF having initially set goals of podiums for the remainder of the season.

But the Milwaukee Aprilia rider’s charge which cut short by a low-side fall at turn six on the eighth lap, while following Alex Lowes in eighth position at the time, with Laverty explaining the crash came as a ‘surprise’.

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“I had a good start and I was trying to make my way through the field straight away,” Laverty said. “I got stuck behind Lowes for a few laps before I was able to pass and make it stick. I tried to go forward but I had another gear shift problem which cost me time.

“There was nothing particularly strange about the crash, I just lost the front which was a bit of a surprise. We seem to lose some performance when the temperature rises, which is something we'll be looking at for next time.”

Laverty is still encouraged by recent performance gains from his Milwaukee Aprilia and heads to Portimao confident he can return to the sharp-end of the grid.

“In terms of progress with the bike this weekend it's been huge,” he said. “Our morning warm up was incredible and the bike felt fantastic, it's just a shame we didn't have the same pace in the afternoon.

“Portimao is one of my favourite tracks on the calendar. I've been strong on all bikes there and won on an Aprilia before, so I'm looking forward to going back and hopefully we can put it on the podium.”

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Should have stayed in MotoGP, even on a gp15 Ducati.

While it's great to see Eugene making progress in qualifying  he has still to close the gap over a race distance. It has taken six months to make the lap breakthrough an indication of how far the team were behind at the start of the season.It is six months to the start of next season. If the SMR Aprilia team are serious about racing they need to begin their effort now not next February..Eugene on the right equipment is still a title contender but time is running out.

Progress, improvement, thats all we hear from this guy. Time to do something rather than talk.Or  Just say nuthin !