The Irish rider had expected a difficult weekend but was seventh in the combined Friday standings after posting the fifth best time in Free Practice 1
One of the surprises so far of the Gaerne Estoril Round was the speed of the two Independent riders with both Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) and Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) finishing inside the top ten in the combined classification, despite Laverty not “very optimistic” heading into the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship round at the Circuito Estoril.
Laverty had endured a tough Pirelli Aragon Round as he did not finish Race 1 while he did not finish inside the points in either the Tissot Superpole Race or Race 2, but responded in superb fashion with a top seven finish in the combined standings from Friday, as well as finishing in the top five in Free Practice 1.
Reacting to the day, Laverty said: “It’s been an amazing day. After the disappointment of Aragon, I wanted to be strong here but coming to Estoril, it was our most difficult track from last year so I wasn’t very optimistic, but I always push 100 percent. I arrived with a positive attitude, we were already fifth this morning and again this afternoon we were really consistent. No one was more surprised than me because I expected this to be difficult for us but we’re really strong here.
“We’ve made a huge step forward. The work BMW have done in the winter has been incredible because last year, there were fundamental problems wrong with the bike and it was not easy to ride around these problems. Since I’ve ridden with this new engine in Aragon, I’ve had such a good feeling and the bike is working correctly now.”
Laverty will be hoping this strong pace continues throughout the rest of the Estoril Round as he goes in search for a big result that will kickstart his 2021 campaign. With limited testing for the RC Squadra Corse outfit heading into 2021, and strong pace being shown in just their second round together, it looks like it could be a positive year for team and rider.
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