WSBK Phillip Island: Eugene Laverty confident of more to come after satisfactory Ducati debut

Eugene Laverty on the Team Go Eleven Ducati Panigale V4 at Phillip Island.
Eugene Laverty on the Team Go Eleven Ducati Panigale V4 at Phillip Island.

Eugene Laverty closed out the opening weekend of the 2019 World Superbike Championship feeling satisfied with his progress on the Team Go Eleven Ducati Panigale V4 in Australia.

The Toomebridge man was making his race debut on the Italian machine for his new team at Phillip Island, where he achieved his best results of ninth place in Sunday’s Superpole race and the second 22-lap race.

Northern Ireland's Eugene Laverty claimed a brace of top-ten finishes as he made his race debut on the Team Go Eleven Ducati V4 in Australia.

Northern Ireland's Eugene Laverty claimed a brace of top-ten finishes as he made his race debut on the Team Go Eleven Ducati V4 in Australia.

Laverty, who finished 12thin race one on Saturday, said: “I am very happy with the progress that we have made this weekend. Ninth position in both the Superpole sprint race and race two this afternoon was a great step forward.

“Thank you to all my guys at Team Go Eleven Ducati for their hard work this week and we have started our season with three solid results.

“I am confident that this is just the beginning as there is much more performance to come from my beautiful Ducati V4 R.”

The former championship runner-up joined the team in a late deal after being left without a ride when Shaun Muir Racing opted to sign Tom Sykes to spearhead the factory BMW Motorrad Team alongside Markus Reiterberger.

Laverty missed the end of year tests and only had his first ride on the all-new Ducati V4 at Jerez in Spain at the of January.

The Northern Ireland rider is playing catch up to a degree after losing out on track time during the off season compared to the rest of his rivals in the championship.

However, he has made an encouraging start to the season and will be aiming to make further progress next month as the Chang International Circuit in Thailand hosts round two.

Denis Sacchetti, team manager, said everyone in the team was feeling confident about the year ahead.

“This was our first time with Ducati, there was a lot of emotion inside the box, among the guys,” he said.

“We can be satisfied with how the weekend went. The work is very different from last season, certainly more exciting; the manufacturer is helping us to grow and progress made little by little speaks for itself.

“Of course, we cannot be fully satisfied because the potential of the bike and the rider are very high, but it is a good and solid starting point.

“We need a bit of time but soon we will get there in front of it, I can feel it – we all feel it.”