Irishman wanted more from Race 2 in Qatar but nonetheless is taking the positives from 2017
Milwaukee Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty experienced a tricky Race 2 at the Acerbis Qatar Round. Having got a strong fourth placed result on Friday in Race 1 Laverty started Saturday’s contest on pole and was hoping for more than seventh place, which is ultimately where he concluded the final race of the season.
Laverty made a rapid getaway off the line only to be immediately attacked by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) in the early stages as he began to struggle with rear grip.
He fought hard to stay within the top five, but dropped to P6 on lap 5 and as his rear grip continued to cause him problems, he was passed by Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) and then Sylvain Guintoli (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).
Laverty and Guintoli then battled all the way to the line, with the Aprilia man eventually using his speed to outdo the Frenchman on the final lap. He finally finished in P7, gaining nine points, to secure tenth in the final 2017 championship standings.
“I felt such a potential for the bike heading into Race 2, and it was a disappointing result really,” stated Laverty. “It was a decent battle with Guintoli for seventh and I was able to utilise the bike’s power to get past, but it wasn’t where we should have been. The bike was working well in areas that we’ve struggled previously such as fast corners, but I didn’t have a rear tyre to make use of the bike that I had.”
In a brighter note he added, “It’s been a positive year for us overall. We started the year further back than we expected which was hard to deal with, but we’ve all dug deep and gradually made good progress. The second half of the year has been really positive and we’ve found a good direction to go in. We’ve focussed less on numbers and more on rider and bike feedback, and that has helped us make huge progress. I’m looking forward to the 2018 season. We will work very hard over the winter and from Phillip Island our target will be the podium.”