Catalunya WorldSBK test: Engine mapping works for Laverty

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Single lap times were not spectacular for Eugene Laverty on day one of his BMW Motorrad WorldSBK testing experience at Catalunya, finishing up only tenth on day one, but he claimed to have found some gains in his electronics setup that should help him in all ways.

Fast lap improvements - to make sure he can qualify close to the top come races – were on his immediate radar.

“Our focus on day one was trying to understand how I can squeeze a lap time on a new tyre, which was something that I do not really know yet,” he said.

“That was clear even in Superpole in Phillip Island. So we focused a little bit on that in the morning and tried to squeeze a lap time and then did a race run right after lunch. I was surprised just how good that was. It stayed really consistent.

It stayed within half a second - 1’43.7 to 1’44.2. Ok, that is not setting the world alight and we could probably do with another half a second, but that was at 3pm. To stay within half a second, and easily stay there, I think that was pretty good.”

Laverty’s technical back up inside the official BMW factory team is strong, of course, and it has appeared to have delivered something he and his motorcycle liked.

“They did something with the power delivery, in the afternoon after my race run, they asked me to try it,” said Laverty.

I switched over to try it and did a few laps, not really expecting it to do anything. When I switched it across I was like, what? Now the bike is not spinning as much. It is so good to have clever people like that that can give you an option in the background, and you just press it and it makes you smile.

“Suddenly I went quicker on it and I know if I had had that in the race run it would have even better.”

Laverty also feels it should be an improvement all in, not just in one narrow area of electronic control. “Used or a fresh tyre, it should be both,” he said. “Not often the case is it? Normally you have a qualifying map and a race map, but this was really good for the linearity of the power.

“It felt so nice in my hands. Sometimes this bike is a little bit switch on-and-off. I am pretty happy with the traction control work and in January and PI the traction control work was good, engine braking we worked on in Lausitzring and even that little step was not even something I was requesting that much – the power delivery – but when you have guys like that working in the background, they know how to make the thing better.”