Eugene Laverty says he is eager to learn off vastly experienced Drive M7 Aspar Honda teammate Nicky Hayden in the 2015 MotoGP world championship.
Laverty has got his big break in MotoGP next season riding Honda’s upgraded RC213V-RS Open class bike alongside Hayden in the high profile Aspar squad.
And Laverty reckons Hayden’s experience will be crucial in helping him shorten the steep learning curve he faces in 2015.
Hayden is only two races away from making a landmark 200th appearance in MotoGP and Laverty said: “I know Nicky from when I rode in 250cc seven years ago. He was always friendly and nice with me. He is a very focused individual who works hard, but he's also charming and genuine. We both come from families of motorcycle racers and we have grown up in competitive environments, so I guess we are similar in that way. The biggest way he can help me is obviously in terms of sharing data. Nicky has been a MotoGP rider for a long time so I am sure I can learn a lot from him.”
Laverty moves to MotoGP at least having previous experience of Bridgestone tyres after the Irish rider made two brief testing appearances on Suzuki’s new factory GSX-RR earlier this year.
But explaining what his objectives are for his rookie season, the 28-year-old added: “First of all it would be good to be challenging at the front of the Open class and at certain circuits I want to be fighting with the Factory guys. Qualifying could be good for us because we have the soft tyre so hopefully we can take advantage of it.”
Laverty made his Honda MotoGP debut on HRC’s old RCV1000R Open class bike at Valencia last month and he said: “The first time I rode the Honda I could tell it was a true racing prototype. I really liked the riding position and its size and weight are perfect for me, I fit really well on the bike. Watching it from the side of the track I could see that it had good acceleration in corner exit. Once I got on it I felt it was comfortable but it is too early to comment on its strengths. My first impression is that I like the way you can get into the corners fast, get the bike stopped and then pick it up and exit quickly. You could say it is quite easy to attack the corners on the Honda.”