Laverty, who will finish his rookie campaign this weekend, admitted afterwards that it has been a strange weekend with the PBM rider having struggled to improve upon his times from the opening session.
Speaking after qualifying Laverty said:
“It seems that it’s a hard track to find any more pace on; I only went 0.4s quicker than I didn’t in FP1 which wouldn’t normally be the case,” commented Laverty. “We made some changes and improved some areas but it was still difficult to go faster. In qualifying on the first couple of laps it was chattering everywhere so I thought that I needed to smooth it out and I got a better lap time at the end.”
There was some bright spots in the session for Laverty with his final lap having come in close company to Colin Edwards. While there was eight tenths of a second between the riders lap times Laverty felt that most of that time differential came in the final sector where riders accelerate hard out of Turns 11, 12 and 14:
“I followed Colin Edwards at the end and he did a 33.2s lap in front of me and I was all over him in the middle but in acceleration out of the last three corners I was spinning the rear and he seemed to just creep forward from me. We’re trying to fix it but when we asked Aprilia how they fixed it they said that with our swingarm we can’t fix it the same way. So we’ve got to come up with something tonight.
Looking forward to the race Laverty expects that it will be a challenge to match the early pace of the riders around him on the grid but that once the race settles down that he has the pace to fight with the likes of Randy de Puniet, Hiroshi Aoyoma and Colin Edwards:
“The race will be difficult but I followed Colin and barely lost time until the last few accelerations so if we can find some more forward momentum off the last three corners we can hang in there. Race pace I think we’re roughly where everyone else is even if some of those guys can do 1m33s laps but I’m hoping that I can hang in there when the grip is good at the start and then I’ll be OK.”