Eugene Laverty enjoys seamless transition to Ducati
Toomebridge MotoGP star Eugene Laverty got his first taste of the Aspar Ducati machinery that he will campaign next season, during a two-day test at Valencia in Spain on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Having ridden an Open class Honda this season on Bridgestone tyres, the change to Ducati power on the all-new Michelin rubber using control electronics, was always going to be a steep learning curve for the Ulsterman.
But he fully enjoyed it as he explained.
"From the first few turns on the Ducati I really enjoyed it. I didn't expect the transition to be so seamless.
"It's a nice bike to ride, with plenty of power out of the corner, which is always a good thing," was Laverty's first impressions of the Italian machinery.
Despite joining an extensive list of riders who crashed on the new Michelin-shod 17-inch wheels, the Monaco based Northern Irishman said: "This is the first time in 20 years of riding motorcycles that I have used a seamless gearbox, so I have to admit, it really was something special."
Speaking of the new French rubber, he added: "Like a lot of other riders, I feel like the new tyres have a lot of grip on the rear, even when it is worn, but I don't have a good feeling with the front just yet."
Laverty also gave his views on the move to Ducati machinery.
"It has been nice to see some red shirts in the garage today.
"Even Gigi Dall'Igna himself [the Ducati Corse sport director] paid us a visit, so it is clear we have the support of the factory and that is really important."