Eugene Laverty repaying Aspar's faith after tough MotoGP winter

Eugene Laverty feels he is now rebuilding his confidence in MotoGP, after finishing a breakthrough fourth in Argentina

Eugene Laverty repaying Aspar's faith after tough MotoGP winter

On an open-class Honda run by the Aspar team, Laverty finished 22nd in the standings in 2015, his first season after switching from World Superbikes, where he was a race winner.

Laverty finished last year with a testing crash at Jerez as Aspar switched to a GP14.2 Ducati, then crashed again on his first day aboard it in 2016 at Sepang at February.

The Northern Irish rider's bike was fitted with the correct specification Ducati engine just before the Qatar season opener, which he finished 12th to equal his MotoGP career best.

Laverty easily eclipsed that with fourth in last Sunday's chaotic Termas de Rio Hondo race, and feels he now has something to build on.

"After the preseason we had, I can't ask for more than 13 points in the second race of the season," he said.

"Last year I managed nine points over the whole championship so to get 13 in one race is great recompense for myself and for the team, who kept faith in me and let me work my way back in testing.

"We were off the pace after so many big knocks and it took me a while to regain my confidence but I feel we are back where we should be now and I want to thank the whole team for their efforts."

Laverty qualified 17th in Argentina and started the final lap in eighth place, but was among the beneficiaries of the clash between the factory Ducati pair.

Fellow satellite riders Pol Espargaro and Hector Barbera also went off the road ahead of him at Turn 10, while fighting for what became Laverty's fourth place.

"That last lap was something a bit special," he said.

"I started it in eighth position and finished it in fourth, it was an incredible race, a race of two parts because we obviously had to come in to change bikes.

"The track was a little better on the second exit but I realised that I had to make up all my time in corner entry because I had no rear grip compared to the other riders, so I pushed the front tyre and was able to keep a good rhythm."

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