China MotoGP: Eugene Laverty ready after nightmare build-up

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Irish 250GP privateer Eugene Laverty is confident he can register another points-scoring finish in Shanghai this weekend after he endured a nightmare journey to the Far East.

The Blusens Aprilia has overcome visa problems and a flight mix-up to finally make it to what many people expect to be the last China MotoGP clash this weekend.

Eugene Laverty, who finished 15th in the last race in Estoril to banish memories of a tough start to 2008, said: “You really couldn’t have written the problems I’ve had in getting to China! 

“I’ve driven more than 20 hours in all back and forth to the Chinese Embassies in the UK and Ireland.  Talk about cutting it fine as I only got my visa on Monday, the day before I left.

“As if that wasn’t enough there was confusion with my flight to Shanghai so I had to buy a completely new ticket at the airport on Tuesday. 

“If ever I needed motivation to give it everything on Sunday then all that should do it! The weather forecast is quite bad but I’m prepared for anything this GP has to throw at me.”

Laverty is confident he will be challenging for points again on Sunday after he used new swingarm and rear linkage parts from Aprilia to help him score points for only the fifth time in his career in Portugal.

Laverty told MCN: “Getting those new parts made the bike more predictable, which meant I could stay on board, get the set-up and the first time I used it I was in the points.

“The bike was more nimble because we could make it shorter. Before it was a big tank it was so long and I couldn’t get round the corners.

“It helped with the rear tyre life too because it was the first 250 race that I have never dropped back.

“I’ve always been waiting for the second half of the race knowing I was going to go backwards and it was soul destroying. Hopefully I can build on this now.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt