Eugene Laverty finally began to show his potential with the Go Eleven Panigale V4R at Portimao’s WorldSBK test, finishing as top Ducati runner.
The Irishman, who is only just about recovered from the Imola crash which smashed both his wrists, was less than a second off the best time of Alex Lowes - set on qualifying rubber - and fractionally ahead of works rider Alvaro Bautista.
“This has been a fantastic test for many reasons. After such a difficult period with injuries it felt incredible to ride my bike correctly again,” said Laverty.
“We started slowly but soon made quick progress on Saturday afternoon thanks to Bitubo’s updated rear shock. With the same tyres I entered the track to make a fair comparison and I was astounded to find an improvement of 0.5 seconds.
“At world championship level that is a huge step. Today we improved the chassis balance further allowing me to brake deeper and we finished the test with big smiles on our faces. We have set the fastest lap time of all the Ducati riders and that is an achievement we can be very proud of.”