While the PBM rider had suffered no tyre issues throughout the weekend, and had been able to complete almost a full race distance on the super-soft compound tyre, he was forced to start the race on the harder CRT compound. The decision to mandate pitstops, requiring riders to change their bikes mid race, was made to ensure that the blistering that was affecting the majority of the prototype riders was would not lead to accidents but it was also was enforced for the CRT runners. This meant that the race would be split into two segments and it would prove to be a difficult race for the Irishman who was hit on the opening lap:
“I made a nice start and then Scassa came barrelling down into Honda Hairpin and knocked me off and I was back to last,” said Laverty. “I had no brakes for the first two or three laps and it took time for everything to come and I got stuck behind Pesek and Staring and when I got through them I was getting into my rhythm and going faster each lap but then I had to make the pitstop.
“I changed bikes, and I wasn’t comfortable on it all weekend, and I think that if it was a normal race I would have gotten back to the group in front but losing ten seconds in the pitstops and not being comfortable on the bike it ruined the race for me. If it was a normal race I’d have had a good shot at it. It was a really frustrating race for me because this was the best chance for points in a long time for me and I didn’t get to do a normal race. It’s annoying but I suppose for safety reasons they had to make the decision.”
Having now had three difficult races on the ART, where accidents and a jump start, have kept Laverty from having the opportunity to show his potential on the ART machine he is now looking forward to Motegi next week:
“We’ll go to Motegi and the speed is coming on the ART and I’m confident of doing a good job on it. We needed a normal 27 lap race today because we strong once we had a few laps on the bike so hopefully it’s back to normal at Motegi.”