Michael Laverty says his Tyco BMW has a lot of potential once the team fine-tunes the set up and feels he can use the MCE British Superbike's unique format to his advantage.

The Northern Irish racer ended the second free practice in 12th place on the afternoon timesheets, eight tenths of a second off pace setter Ryuichi Kiyonari. Laverty says the team still has plenty of work to do to improve his BMW S1000RR but being within a second of the top BMW means it is a case small adjustments.

"We still have work to fine tune the bike," Laverty said. "We have a lot of potential and need to address some of the fundamentals today like power deliver and throttle connection. With the BMW switch to full fly-by-wire system it has taken the guys a lot of time to get their heads around it.

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"Being 0.8 seconds down on Kiyo isn't too bad as he knows the bike so well having had a year on it. Still not feeling like I'm getting the maximum out of it but we'll keep chipping away."

Laverty, like a number of BSB riders, has been struggling with rear-wheel grip around Donington Park, as track temperature remained low throughout.

"I had a lot of problems trying to get the power down through the rear tyre and we're still looking at suspension setting and chassis weight distributions but it'll come," he added. "Once you get to within one second of the top time you know it's all about fine tuning, the small changes that make the big differences."

The former MotoGP rider is confident his team can make up the difference in performance on its rivals further on in the season with the aid of BSB's format.

The top six riders qualify for the Showdown which is run over the final three rounds of the season and all start with 500 points plus bonus points awarded for podium appearances (3 for a win, 2 for a second and 1 for a third).

"We're lucky with the rules because it means we only have to peak in the summer," he explained. "As long as we're scoring enough points to get in the top six then we'll be fine to get into the Showdown.

"But I still want to put in a good show for my first race back in BSB so I'll be working my arse off. Going to be tough to match Kiyo and Shakey but we'll be in the mix with the rest."