Michael Laverty saw the first signs of his 2016 season getting back on track as he returned to the podium this weekend for the first time since taking victory in the opening round at Silverstone.
The Tyco BMW rider hasn’t lacked pace at any particular circuit this year but a number of factors saw him go without a podium over the last three rounds and left an ominous question mark dangling over his 2016 title chances.
It had looked as though bad luck would continue to plague him as the fifth round got underway at Snetterton, with a crash in Q2 leaving him 16th on the grid for Sunday’s opening race. Making good ground in the early stages, he was left with nowhere to go when Peter Hickman and Glenn Irwin collided in front of him, but a third place in race two marked a welcome return to form for the Ulsterman.
“We’re back where we should be really,” he told MCN after the race. “There’s no questioning our pace this year, every track we’ve been to I’ve been quick at some point but things just haven’t gone our way. I don’t feel I’ve done much wrong, I’ve just been in the wrong place at the wrong time on too many occasions but that’s the way racing goes. I’m just relieved to be back on the podium.”
Having lost his spot in the all-important Showdown top six at Knockhill, Laverty is now just eight points away from sixth-placed Richard Cooper and is adamant his championship charge isn’t over yet.
“I need to get that Showdown spot back and bag some podium points over the next four rounds. We should be able to pull back enough points and be alright. However, after not racing with the boys at the front for a while I’ve noticed we’re really weak on acceleration at the moment. I was getting mullered out of the last corner onto the back straight so we need to work on getting a bit more mechanical grip to get that acceleration to go with the Kawasaki and Ducati.”
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