|Laverty struggled in wet conditions
Photo: Cormac Photography
Paul Bird Motorsport rider Michael Laverty struggled in his wet weather debut at Le Mans, finishing just outside the points on his PBM machine.
The Ulsterman qualified in 20th in a dry qualifying session but wet conditions greeted Laverty on race day, which brought a difficult task for the 31 year old. Laverty had a slow start and was in 22nd for the opening laps of the race, but moved up into 18th by lap 20. Involved in a CRT battle on a drying track, Laverty secured 17th position in the closing laps, just outside of the points.
Despite being lapped for the first time this season, Laverty continued his 100% finish rate in 2013 and is positive about steps made with wet set-up. “I’m disappointed with the result; we had a good pace in the dry but today was a big learning experience as I hadn’t ridden the Bridgestone wet tyres or the PBM bike properly in the rain. I felt like a fish out of water in warm up but the team improved the electronics for the race and I got more comfortable as the race went on. Once I understood the tyres I was actually lapping as fast as the top CRT guys but I had lost so much time in the early laps that a good result was impossible. The main positive from today is that I know we can be competitive when the rain arrives in future.”