Irishman delighted with first podium since SBK® return
Standing on the podium for the first time since 2014, Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) was relieved to secure third position around WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca following a stunning performance in race two.
Starting from pole position under sunny Californian skies, Laverty was able to get a storming start off the line and led the pack in the opening laps. With a strong history at Laguna Seca, the Aprilia rider was able to use his knowledge of the circuit alongside his new and improved setting on his RSV4 RF, which has allowed him to find the rear end grip he has been searching for over the past seasons.
Explaining his delight at the podium finish, Laverty explains: “It really is a relief, it’s the monkey off the back, I’ve been so close recently so it’s just nice to get that third. Finally we did it, the bike’s been working good all weekend – we were never far away. This morning in warm up we were right at the sharp end, so hopefully we are here to stay.”
It’s been a tough 2018 for Laverty – who was already a race winner around Laguna back in 2013 – as he continues to recover from a nasty crash in Thailand back in March. But recalling his strong pace back in Australia at the start of the season, he adds: “It was like in Phillip Island race two, I was going tentatively but also pulling away. It’s a strange thing to see when you’re watching, as I’m sure a lot of people think I was pushing. I was trying to pull away but this bike needs rear grip and once that rear grip goes we lose out compared to our rivals - that’s clear, and I got away early.”
Enjoy the 32 year old’s return to the podium, and all other highlights from the weekend with the WorldSBK VideoPass.