Belfast Telegraph

Laverty is fired up to sparkle at Le Mans

By Paul Lindsay

After four rounds of the MotoGP World Championship the series heads to Le Mans for round five this weekend with no fewer than three race winners already off the mark.

Jorge Lorenzo's dominant victory in Jerez last time out came on the back of wins for Valentino Rossi in Qatar and Argentina and a single victory so far for the defending champion Marc Marquez in Texas.

With Ducati's two factory riders looking capable and keen to open their victory account as soon as possible, the legendary French circuit promises to host another intriguing weekend of action from the moment free practice gets under way on Friday morning.

A post-Grand Prix test for Eugene Laverty's Aspar Honda Team at Jerez will hopefully see the Irishman and his team-mate Nicky Hayden in more competitive shape this weekend.

Over the course of countless laps at the Spanish circuit, Laverty finally made a breakthrough with the lack of rear grip he'd been encountering this season.

Laverty is well aware of the challenge at Le Mans but is fired up for the contest.

"We did a great job in the test after the Grand Prix at Jerez, finding a solution to our rear grip problems. That is a positive step as we look towards this weekend in France," said Laverty from his base in Monaco.

"We have shown our pace over a single lap this season, but we have been lacking consistency over race distance and we feel we found that at Jerez. I rode Le Mans during my time in 250cc Grand Prix, but that's a long time ago now and it will seem like another new track to me.

"It shouldn't be a problem though and I'll be doing as much work as I can and be fully focused from Friday, so we can do the best job possible," concluded Laverty who finished yesterday's wet second free practice session in 23rd place.

Hayden was 17th with British rider Bradley Smith [Tech 3 Yamaha] on provisional pole despite a crash.

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