Laverty: Bike more suited to me
Eugene Laverty is confident the Aprilia RSV4 will suit his riding style next year following several changes to the bike.
While teammate Max Biaggi won the 2013 World Superbike Championship as he was pretty solid throughout the season, Laverty's form only picked up at the backend of the season as he finished with one victory and two podiums in six races.
His early season slump, though, was down to the fact that it took him a while to get used to the RSV4, but he is confident that won't be a problem next year.
"We have been trying some different sized forks, different diametres, but either way the damping is working strongly with either fork. That has been the big benefit," the Northern Irishman said.
"We have been using a lot different damping to the direction that Max had taking the bike, in compression and rebound.
He added: "I think that has been the biggest benefit because before I crashed so much at the start of the year because there was no confidence with it.
"Max could ride it because he flows and rides very smoothly, but I wanted to attack it, and any time I did that the front couldn't take it. Now the bike is more suited to me."
In 2013, the World Superbike Championship will switch over to 17-inch Pirelli tyres and Laverty was pretty comfortable on them during the recent test at Jerez.
"We set good lap times at Jerez and I think it shows how good Superbike is and how good a job Pirelli has done with the new tyres," he said.
"Everyone asks about the 17-inch tyres and if they are better but it is not the difference in wheel sizes, it is the development Pirelli has done with the tyre.
"They have really improved the construction and now the tyre is a race tyre. It works so well.
"We tried some swingarms at Jerez and with the 17-inch tyres we are going to have to re-evaluate some things all over again."