Eugene Laverty had something of a baptism of fire on his return to the WorldSBK series at Imola as his Milwaukee-backed Aprilia is on a knife-edge when it comes to setup.

Laverty was able to set a fast pace early doors but when pushing for a fast laptime, the RSV4 developed problems in braking and then acceleration when the braking issue was solved. Laverty missed qualifying two by just 0.066s but will get an extra 15 minutes setup time in Q1.

“It’s nice to be back. I was able to go out and go fast first thing, straight to a 1’49.8 and it felt like everyone else was coming back from injury and I was weaving in and out, everyone was cruising,” said Laverty, speaking to bikesportnews.com at the track.

“I was able to get to the laptime quickly but that’s sometimes the problem with this bike, it’s faster to ride it slowly than it is to try and push. To get more is tough, you push and the bike won’t stop.

“You can always improve with this bike but you’re on such a knife-edge. Try to improve in stopping and you lose in acceleration, then you improve that and you lose stopping. Imola was a tough one to come back to but probably the best to get ready for Donington.”

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