By Stephen English

Michael Laverty has had a difficult weekend so far at Laguna Seca and, after qualifying 20th, the Ulsterman commented on the challenges facing a MotoGP rookie at the Californian circuit.

"It's been a difficult weekend," admitted Laverty. "You push hard at most tracks and you find a few tenths but around here you seem to get stuck on a lap time and you need to improve the setup to go faster.

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"You can't just bite the screen and find a little bit more, it actually seems that you go slower because you make a little mistake and run wide in places so it's a tough track in that way."

While most MotoGP rookies, such as Bradley Smith this year and Stefan Bradl last year, decided to travel to Laguna Seca for a track day, Laverty's first lap of the track came on Friday morning about his PBM MotoGP machine.

The 32 year old has therefore been learning the track throughout the weekend and finding just how unique Laguna Seca is:

"It's not like any track I've ridden before. Normally in a faster corner you can brake a little deeper and push the front a bit harder but you do that here and the bike starts to bounce and you're wide and you miss the drive for the next corner. I think it's unique to here that you have to improve the setup and that's what makes the difference."

Laverty also commented on the difficulty of getting the tyres up to temperature.

"Getting the right side of the tyre up to temperature is quite difficult, particularly with the hard tyre, and the wind chill can be quite cool here at times. So if you don't keep your momentum up the temperature can drop off. On the hard front you have to give the first flying lap a lot of care into the first right hander at turn three, that's where de Puniet crashed."

Starting from 20th on the grid will make for a difficult race for Laverty who admitted that he would need other riders to have problems if he is to have a chance of scoring points in the race.

"Hopefully tomorrow will be better and we won't lose touch in the early laps. We're not fast enough to aim for points without other people dropping out but the likes of Corti, Edwards and Barbera seems to have moved forward and those are the guys we were racing earlier in the season but it does seem harder to battle with them at the minute. Whatever changes they've made they've stepped it up lately."