MOTOGP: Eugene Laverty narrowly outside points in final race on Aspar Ducati

Eugene Laverty on the Aspar Ducati at Valencia in Spain.
Eugene Laverty on the Aspar Ducati at Valencia in Spain.

Eugene Laverty narrowly missed out on a points finish as the Northern Ireland rider completed his final MotoGP race on the Aspar Ducati.

Laverty, who will return to the World Superbike Championship in 2017, finished in 16th place at Valencia in Spain, ending the season in 13th position in the standings.

The 30-year-old was disappointed that he failed to score any points in the final race of the season, but Laverty says he is satisfied with his overall position in the championship as his two-year stint in the premier class reached an end.

“We just missed out on the points. I wanted to get 15th on the last lap with [Jack] Miller but I was just lacking a bit of pace. It has been a great two years with the Aspar Team and I wanted to finish on a high,” Laverty said.

“We tried our best this weekend and even though the result wasn’t our best one I think we can be happy with our effort. I think 13th place in the championship is quite respectable, if you look at the points we have scored compared to last year, and the fact we have finished above two GP15 Ducatis.

“As a team we can be proud; we improved from last year and that’s always the aim.”

Laverty claimed his best result of fourth in Argentina in tricky conditions at the beginning of the season.

Sunday’s race was won by Jorge Lorenzo in his final ride on the Movistar Yamaha before the Spaniard moves to the factory Ducati team.

Lorenzo, who started from pole, led all the way and held on for the win despite a late charge by world champion Marc Marquez, who lost time after fluffing his start.

Andrea Iannone completed the top three for Ducati with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), Maverick Vinales (Suzuki) and Pol Espargaro on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha completing the top six.

An official two-day test for 2017 will be held at Valencia on Tuesday and Wednesday, when Lorenzo will make his eagerly anticipated Ducati debut.

Spaniard Vinales will also ride the Movistar Yamaha for the first time as he joins Rossi in the factory team.