LAVERTY ON THE UP
Eugene Laverty made the Motogp paddock sit up and take notice once again with the 29-year-old Irishman securing an impressive ninth place finish at Jerez.
Starting from 14th on the grid Laverty finished comfortably ahead of Brits Crutchlow, Smith and Redding, but despite many of his peers already being in line for a deal to race in 2017, he remains without a contract for next season. However, with the paddock now waking up to his speed on the two-year-old Ducati GP14 machine, he admitted to MCN that he is now in a far better position to start negotiating.
“It seems in Motogp that April is the new July! There’s never been a year with so many riders out of contract, and if we all wait until July there’d be a bit of a traffic jam! Things are moving a bit more this weekend now, and it’s nice to now be included when people are talking about who is going where.
“I had a difficult time in testing, and people looked at the black and white at the start – ‘oh Laverty’s at the bottom again.’ We’ve still been playing catch up until now, so now we need to start getting the results.”
Encouragingly, Laverty has a strong working relationship with the man who turned around Ducati´s Desmosedici machine, Gigi Dall’igna. The pair spent two years together in the factory Aprilia WSB team.
His results mean that there is now potential for an upgrade in status within Ducati’s hierarchy with the chance that he could get to ride a higher spec Desmosedici, similar to the Pramac Ducatis currently ridden by Redding and the injured Danilo Petrucci.
“I do like how Ducati works – I like how Gigi works, and he has brought that way to Ducati. We’re down the pecking order, but he’s still very considerate to us, gives us good advice, and listens to us. I like where I’m at right now but I’d still like to be on a factory contract.
“We know the areas where the GP15 improved, and in Austin we really felt the brunt of that – the areas where you always hear the GP14 was difficult showed themselves. The GP14 is what we’ve got, but there’s some great engineers in Ducati who built a new bike to improve those areas.”
“In Motogp, a factory ride is where you want to be. For job security and for bike development. Some riders maybe aren’t in a position to make that jump, but I’ve worked with Gigi before to make a bike exactly the way I want it to be. You can’t do that on a privateer bike.” Length 2.75 miles Corners 13– 5 left, 8 right Longest straight
‘I like where I’m at right now, but I’d still like to be on a factory contract’