After nearly missing out on a competitive WorldSBK ride for 2019 Eugene Laverty finally found a welcome inside the ambitious Go Eleven Team.
Kawasaki runners until recently, Go Eleven are now the third team in the championship to receive their Ducati V4R machines.
“I was impressed with this bike from the first run and the engine really reminded me of the MotoGP bike I rode in 2016,” said Laverty after his first day. “The power is so linear and that’s always nice to have.
“A rider always wants a bike that accelerates from any RPM where the rider has the power in their hands. It’s tough to remember some things about the 2016 bike, in terms of riding position because we changed so much over the last few years with Aprilia, but the engine and gearbox on this bike are so smooth on this. It really reminds me of a race bike because it’s so smooth on upshifts and downshifts. It’s like the last time I was on a MotoGP bike.”
As well as a new bike to play with, and a surely potent one once it is fully ready for the year, Laverty paid tribute to the initial assistance given to get things moving from a standing start.
“There’s a lot of support from Ducati here for this test to help us find our feet,” said Laverty. “It’s a great gesture from Ducati to send the likes of Giovanni Crupi here to help us. Ducati hasn’t just given us a bike and said ‘good luck, you’re on your own’ they’ve given us a lot of support.
“My crew chief, Maurizio has been great and he’s got a lot of experience with Ducati. He’s been with Ducati for nearly 20 years so he knows their way of working. We’re working well together and the plan for today was to get to each other and now from tomorrow I want to start pushing for faster laptimes.”
Laverty’s approach has been measured so far, sticking to a certain number of laps on day one.
“Our plan wasn’t to do a lot of laps today because we wanted to save our mileage for when we’re more up to speed and the track conditions are better. It’s been strange here today at Jerez because with a new tyre you only had three laps to set a time because it’s so cold here that the tyre was tearing up quite a bit. For the riders that knew their bikes they were into the 40s but for me, learning a new bike, it was taking two or three exits to learn the bike and understand it.”