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Brands BSB: Laverty working to 'eradicate' chatter

McAMS Yamaha’s Michael Laverty will find out on Friday at the Brands MCE British Superbike round whether planned measures to eradicate the chatter which has plagued his pre-season have worked.

Laverty and his team have pored over the data gathered and Donington Park and believe a way has been found to halt Laverty’s problem - and also help team-mate James Ellison as his bike is skipping on corner entry - but it has been a steep learning curve so far with the R1.

“We had a lot to learn at Donington, even down to the amount of power we can use with the UK tracks but we achieved a lot in one weekend. A lot of things need to change when you drop track temperature by 15° and the style is different as tracks are a lot more point and squirt,” Laverty told bikesportnews.com.

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“We made a lot of headway considering we had no dry track time on the Saturday at all, starting warm-up on a revised bike. It felt good and I ran the hard tyre. It wasn’t doing outstanding laptimes but I knew I had to be careful as the track was cold at that time of day.

“In race one, I wasn’t as far away as I expected to be on the hard and I made progress from the fifth row into fourth place, doing consistent 1’29s. Something changed on lap seven or eight, the grid dropped off, back came the chatter and it started to skip on corner entry, which was quite limiting and I was a sitting duck.

“We learned a lot from those 20 laps of data, went through it and James said he had a similar issue with the soft tyre. We have started to understand what is causing the chatter for both riding styles, so the team used a different electronic strategy to cope with the engine’s back-torque, which we believe is what was causing it.

“I kept the hard tyre for race two with some more revisions, got a good start and thought I could go a chunk quicker than guys like Mossey in front of me but it turned out we had a problem with the engine so I had to limp off.

“We learned a lot, most of it on Sunday, just understanding the engine brake to eliminate that chatter an understand what the chassis needs. I went home happy - even with an eighth and a DNF - because we had learned so much and we have seen how strong we will be once we have all the edges polished.

“I did have the chatter all the time - new tyre, old tyre - and we started to get rid of it for a run on a new tyre but in race one it was back before half distance. We believe that it should now be eliminated as the bike felt better in the early laps, although I could have done with 20 to confirm it.

“Where it was worse was through the Old Hairpin, Schwantz, McLeans and Coppice, the section where you’re changing left to right and back quickly. That change of direction where the rear is a bit light is where the engine brake strategy can affect the rear’s contact with the ground. My feeling is we have eradicated it.”

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