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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

0.377 miles

Race con­di­tions

‘I like where I’m at right now, but I’d still like to be on a fac­tory con­tract’

Miche­lin say Red­ding’s weight is an is­sue

AT JEREZ MO­TOGP RE­PORTER simon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­

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