Eugene Laverty said he had higher expectations than 13th place in Sunday’s sombre Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona.
The Northern Ireland rider, who donned a special replica helmet in tribute to Gene McDonnell – killed in a crash at the Isle of Man TT 30 years ago – claimed more consistent points on the Aspar Ducati, but the 30-year-old had set his sights on the top ten.
Laverty joined every Grand Prix rider across all classes on the main straight to observe a minute’s silence in memory of Moto2 rider Luis Salom, who was killed following a crash during practice on Friday.
He made a strong start to the race but Laverty was disappointed that he was unable to maintain his pace on the Desmosedici GP14.2, collecting three championship points at the finish.
“I made my best start of the year. Whilst it was a good start, I just couldn’t hold my position and was overtaken a few times,” said Laverty.
“I knew it was going to be important to preserve the tyres, and in the end I had a little more left in them than other riders who were going backwards, but it was a test of endurance today.
“Thirteenth place isn’t where I wanted to be; I wanted to be 10 seconds in front of that, in the top 10,” added Laverty, who is 11th in the standings overall.
The race was won by Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi from Repsol Honda pair Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.
Reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo was dramatically wiped out by Ducati’s Andrea Iannone.