Laverty hoping new engines will spark upturn
Presteigne-based Ulsterman Michael Laverty enters his second season of action in motorcycling's premier MotoGP class in Qatar in just over a week's time, on March 23.
Speaking after a recent test session at Qatar, Laverty explained: "We're hoping to have some new engines in time for race one. We took some good steps forward with the bike at Qatar, mainly with the chassis setting and a little with the electronics, but we're much faster than we were this time last year."
Laverty finished the test 3.7 seconds off the pole time of fellow Open Class rider Aleix Espargaro [Forward Racing Yamaha] and just one place ahead of new team-mate Broc Parkes, who was rock bottom on the timing screens at Qatar.
He said: "The last day did not go as well as Saturday for us, but we think we understand where the issues were. We know what we need to address at round one when we come back here."
Setting himself some clear targets Laverty added: "We've learned a lot during this winter period and hopefully we can step it up and see the fruition this season.
"The Avintia Racing boys are our target. I think we'll be stronger this season and I'm looking forward to it."
The factory Yamaha, Honda and Ducati teams were not present at Qatar, opting to finish their preparations at Phillip Island.