Author: Bike Social Sports Reporter Posted: 11 Nov 2014
Eugene Laverty has said he is struggling with the power of his RCV1000R as he picks it up coming out of corners.
The former World Superbike rider says there is ‘too much power’ in his right hand when he goes from full lean to upright and that he needs help from the electronics to improve that feeling.
Laverty joins the Drive M7 Aspar Honda team this year as he switches to MotoGP from the Superbike World Championship for the 2015 season.
“This bike feels like a small toy compared to what I’ve been riding in World Superbikes,” the Irishman explains. “The fuel tank is small so it allows me to move around the bike, yesterday in the dry I touched both elbows on the ground and I realised that this bike is much lower and much smaller than what I’m used to. I still have to learn the correct way to ride it because it’s so different in terms of the tyres. Everybody talks about the front tyres but that’s not so different for me, the biggest difference is the rear. If you spin the tyre to turn you can still go forward, whereas in the past if I’ve spun the tyre you’d go slower so you had to keep the wheels more in line.”
The Ulsterman spent two years riding the Aprilia RSV4 in World Superbikes, one of the smallest litre sports bikes in production but he says even that was bigger than the Honda he’s been getting a first taste of in Valencia.
“The Aprilia RSV4 looks small aesthetically but it’s a very long bike, the RCV1000R is a lot shorter. The fuel tank is what makes a bike big for a rider as that’s what you’re hugging. The position on this bike allows you to get a lot lower and that’s why you see riders with their elbows on the ground because there’s nothing restricting you.”
After two days testing, Laverty’s has set a fastest dry lap time of 1’34.320 and placed 21st on the timesheets. Moving forwards he’s keen to work on the electronics to allow him to ride the bike how he wants.
“At the moment we need to work on the electronics to allow me to ride the bike in the way that I’ve known,” he continued. “I like to pick the bike upright on the exit and spin the bike to do that, but I’m not able to do that with these electronics as there’s nothing there to aid me. There’s too much power in my hand to control it all so we need to work a bit to improve that feeling. Whenever I go from full lean to bike the bike upright quickly I want something to catch me as it’s a lot of power in my right hand and I need some more help there, in the past I’ve done that on every bike I’ve ridden in the past. My natural style suits this bike so hopefully I won’t have to change too much.”
On Tuesday Laverty experienced his first wet laps on the RCV1000R, giving him chance to familiarise himself with Bridgestone’s wet tyre option.
“The first lap was interesting, I think Cal Crutchlow got caught out and I easily could have done the same. The surface is slippery on this track already; it felt like somebody had polished the tyre. To lean over first of all I had to scrub the tyres and after a few laps I could get going. In the beginning it was difficult because I needed to keep the temperature in the tyre but every time I leaned over the bike was moving, it was a tough first few laps but after that it was good.
“The tyres are very different to the Pirelli wets in World Superbikes, we can use much more lean angle. I only did a few exits but it’s hard to get a good feeling, we need to work a little bit on the electronics but the tyres are good, the grip level is high and the contact with the rear was really nice.”
Testing continues tomorrow.