Eugene Laverty is looking forward to competing on equal terms with his fellow open-class Honda riders at Assen this weekend. The Irishman has waited patiently for a new swingarm which his Aspar teammate Nicky Hayden has been running since the Jerez test and Laverty now feels he has the equipment to challenge the leading open riders.
“Following three unfamiliar circuits I’m excited to return to a track that I know well. I’ve won races at Assen in both the World Supersport and Superbike championships so I’ll be gunning for a top finish there in MotoGP. We found our way again at the previous round in Barcelona and I’m feeling full of confidence again. The team continue to support me 100% plus Honda have stepped in to help us move forward which I’m extremely grateful for. Everything’s really starting to come together now”.
Teammate Nicky Hayden took his only MotoGP win outside of the United States here in 2006 and although the American knows he won’t be able to achieve that sort of result on Saturday, Hayden is targeting a points finish.
“Assen is a great circuit that always provides great races and I hope this can be a good weekend for us. We have stepped up our pace in qualifying over the past couple of rounds but now we need to back it up on race day, when it really counts. At Mugello I had a crash that wasn’t my fault and then I had another at Barcelona that was. It is a shame to have missed out on the points for two straight races so the plan is to get back on the right track at Assen. Usually the grip there is good and the track has some fast and fun corners. The test after the GP in Barcelona wasn’t too productive but at least we were able to confirm a couple of things with the electronics, which should be useful at Assen because it does tend to rain there. Hopefully we can pick up a good result for the team this weekend.”