Having struggled in the opening laps of races throughout 2014 Michael Laverty is hopeful that an upgraded fuel tank will allow him to push harder in the early stages of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix. The new tank allows the team to create more space for the rider to move on the bike and keep the weight of the fuel lower in the early stages of the race to give a better balance when running with high fuel loads.
The afternoon rain however meant that Laverty was unable to perform a back to back test of the new tank versus the old design but overall the Irishman was pleased with his performance in FP1 and the handing of his bike:
“Free practice 1 is always about finding your feet and getting the electronics dialled in,” said Laverty. “We had the new tank in the bike this morning and comfort wise it felt better; I was able to move around the bike a little more. On track I didn’t get a chance to back to back the two bikes to see the difference it makes because of the rain this afternoon. Generally the feeling with the bike was ok and we had a little bit of chatter in some places so we wanted to try some things this afternoon but the rain meant we couldn’t do anything.”
Laverty ended the opening sessions 21st but Laverty is confident of closing the gap to the Avintia bikes of Barbera and di Meglio in front of him:
“Overall it was a positive feeling in FP1 because we’re normally a little bit back and then in FP2 we take a step forward with the electronic changes so it’s a pity to lose the session. Looking at the forecast it is showing rain for tomorrow and Sunday so we could continue like this for the weekend. If it rains and we can get a wet session it would be good but we’ll see what happens as the weekend progresses.”