Since switching to the ART bike Michael Laverty has had a difficult time in Aragon and Sepang. The Ulsterman has shown solid pace at both but unfortunate accidents have meant that he has not finished either race. Having crashed in Aragon after Danilo Petrucci misjudged his braking and ran into the back of the PBM rider Sepang saw a jump start penalty and a crash.
The rookie admitted that it was frustrating for him but given his pace at both tracks he is confident that this weekend should offer a good opportunity to score points. With the chatter issue that plagued him in Malaysia unlikely to be an issue with the new track surface at Philip Island Laverty is looking forward to this weekend:
“It’s frustrating, especially the last two races,” admitted Laverty. “I’m confident that I had the race pace to finish in the points and both times I haven’t made it [to the end]. I just have to get on with it and put it behind us. Aragon was completely not my fault and Sepang was obviously a little bit my fault but sometimes the front end just goes like that.
“You can have hard times like this and you need to just move on this weekend and try and get a solid race under my belt. Earlier in the year I was consistent and getting it home but I haven’t done that yet with the ART. We had chatter problems all weekend in Sepang but I’m hoping that looking at this track that it won’t be as much of an issue. At Sepang it was caused by the ripples from the F1 cars but here looks quite smooth and I’m confident that it won’t be an issue with the ART this weekend. So it’s just about learning the track and getting up to speed.”
“It’s another new track for me so I’m trying to learn it today. It’s an all new surface and it looks nice and smooth and looks like a nice track to ride. I just hope that the weather is a bit better than it has been today because the wind is difficult because it blows you around and cools the tyres. The whole way around the track you’re getting gusts but especially into turn one and turn three and over Lukey Heights it’s quite aggressive there. You’d need it to be a bit calmer there to be confident that you’re not dropping temperature from the tyres.
“The bike should handle quite well here; Eugene [Laverty] and Sylvain [Guintoli] went one-two here in the World Superbikes and Aleix was fast here last year. It looks like it should lend itself well to the ART here because there’s no really big long straights and each corner flows really well into the next. It’s about conserving your tyre and having a user friendly chassis.”