An oil leak hindered Michael Laverty during the opening day of practice at Misano. The Irishman had hoped to test a new exhaust and swingarm during FP2 but a last minute oil leak meant that he was forced to use his original bike throughout the day instead of running a planned back to back analysis to compare the new parts.
“We had the new exhaust on the second bike but couldn’t run it because of an oil leak just before the start of FP2,” said Laverty. “I couldn’t do the back to back tests so we’ll do it tomorrow morning. It messed our plans up a little bit because we some new forks to test and a new swinging arm to try and control some flexing under acceleration. We’re trying to find a better balance with the chassis and try and give me some more feedback.”
One of the keys to improving the balance of the chassis has been moving weight forward on the bike by adjusting Laverty’s body position and placing him body mass more over the front of the bike in a bid to help improve the feeling of the PBM chassis under acceleration. Having played with his riding style at Silverstone the team has moved the footrests forward on Laverty’s bike by almost 1cm and afterwards the rookie confirmed the improvement but admitted there was still issues:
“It was better today and moving my weight forward seems to have helped a lot. I still think that I’m overloading the front at times but it’s definitely helping putting the weight more forward [on the bike] and it was a good step today. We still have the same small issue on initial pickup of the throttle and the bike not staying neutral so we’re trying to find a nicer balance overall. When the track is warm it seems to suit us and I can generate the heat in the front tyre so with a few improvements tomorrow I’m feeling good.”
Laverty ended the session only 0.025s behind the ART’s of his teammate, Yonny Hernandez, and Karel Abraham but once again however the PBM rider finds himself struggling to match the pace of the FTR’s:
“We tried a lot of things this afternoon so were in and out of the pits three or four times. For a Friday to be three seconds off the quickest guy isn’t too bad. We’re half a second from the FTRs and I don’t know if we’ll easily find that but we’ll work towards that. The goal is to be in the 1m36s consistently and that would put us in a good position.”