Laverty ‘close to the maximum’, pipped to the point

michael laverty cota race 2014 (1)Missing out on the last point left Michael Laverty somewhat disappointed at COTA but overall the Irishman was pleased with the efforts of the PBM team throughout the Grand Prix of the America’s.

Laverty, who had been in 15th with one lap remaining, was piped to the final point by Hector Barbera but overall he admitted that he had gotten close to the maximum from the bike and as a result there were plenty of positives to take as the team prepares for the all new test of racing in Argentina.

When asked by about that fight with Barbera Laverty said:

“It was actually a pretty good race. I felt that I got close to the maximum of the bike. I had a few issues with the electronics in the middle of the race, I was losing a lot of drive to Abraham and Barbera during the race for top speed, but in the tight and twisty parts I was faster than them and caught them in the middle of the race. I did a good lap and passed Hector but then on the last lap he got me back.

michael laverty cota race 2014 (2)“On the last lap he got good drive onto the back straight and he pulled two or three tenths on me so I could only get back to him with two corners to go and we crossed the line pretty much together. It was a bit disappointing not to get 15th and the last point after riding so hard all race long. We’re aiming for 15th but on the same token I felt that we achieved our target of racing with Hector and being close to Karel. I think that if I didn’t have a few issues-the electronics and a slight oil leak onto my left boot-I think we could have gotten that point.”

While Laverty was able to fight with Barbera in the second half of the race the early stages saw the Spaniard open a five second lead. In the final ten laps Laverty bridged that gap and when asked what gives Barbera and Karel Abraham such an advantage in the early stages Laverty said:

michael laverty cota race 2014 (3)“It’s hard in the early laps. I think that when the tyres go off those guys can’t use their drive as well as on fresh tyres but I can manage it better. To be honest I had more tyre issues today than I normally have but I had a lot of wheelspin from four or five laps in but I kept my pace the same and Karel and Hector came back to me. I was doing 2m07s from the start and then dropped to the 8’s and they came back to me.”

With the Aprilia engined bikes regularly the slowest through the speed traps Laverty commented that the biggest problem affecting him, Broc Parkes and Danilo Petrucci is that they lose so much time in acceleration from slow speed corners and that when he was following Abraham it illustrated just how difficult it is to race those rivals:

“The biggest issue for us is a lack of acceleration and speed. The Aprilia is the slowest bike on the grid and when Abraham came by me the punch that he has just dropped me off the turns, especially in first gear, we’re OK when the corners let you build momentum but the really slow stuff is where they gap us under acceleration. I’ll go home happy though because when you get close to the maximum from your package, it’s only for 16th place but I didn’t feel that there was much left in it.”

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