Race pace settled but qualifying tricky, says Laverty

Michael Laverty says he's happy to take away the bragging rights with top spot at the final BSB pre-season test but feels he's yet to nail the new qualifying format
Michael Laverty says he's happy to take away the bragging rights with top spot at the final BSB pre-season test but feels he's yet to nail the new qualifying format to produce one hot lap instantly.

The Tyco BMW rider was pipped to P1 at the Silverstone test on Tuesday by Leon Haslam's last lap effort but produced a reversal on Shane Byrne by pinching the fastest time on his final flyer at Donington Park.

Laverty says taking top spot, albeit without the number of teams running on the final test day, has put a smile on his face but isn't completely satisfied with his qualifying simulations as it took him time to get up to speed.

For 2016 the BSB qualifying format has altered slightly with a top nine pole shootout being down to a single lap solo effort. Laverty feels to perfect his qualifying he needs to be quick straight out of the garage but has confidence in his race pace.

“I wanted to practice it today but it still took me a few laps,” Laverty said. “My first lap wasn't great so I still have got a bit to gain with the fresh tyre. I was on my fourth lap to get my best time so there is still work to do for the new qualifying shootout.

“It is good for the race pace though because I feel better on a tyre with a couple of laps on it. But with the new qualifying strategy you've got to be able to put it on the line straight out so we are not quite there yet but the positive is we are working well on used tyres.”

Assessing pre-season testing as a whole, Laverty is coy on making predictions until the season begins and he gets a full picture of his place in the BSB running order.

However, after finishing in the top two in both tests this week is thrilled with his progress on the Tyco BMW.

“It has been really good. I was cautious at Silverstone with the wind so didn't take many chances but surprised when I came in and was P1 but just got pipped. That was good! There was a lot left in the tank too,” he explained. “I started to push harder today but we got to a limit with the set-up and I wasn't quite with the front and chassis so we've got more to work on but being top is only bragging rights, not a lot to be gained but it is nice to come out fastest in the last test to show we mean business.

“We are where we want to be so it nice to deliver when it comes down to a shootout. Everyone was going for the lap time and throwing the tyres on and I was the one who went quickest so it was a nice feeling and I'm relaxed for the first round.

“I left here last year and I was maybe outside the top 20 so it is a big difference. 12 months on we are on the money and look comfortable without any risks.”

Tagged as: Byrne , Haslam , Eugene Laverty , Tyco BMW

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