By Stephen English

An oil leak hindered Michael Laverty during the opening day of MotoGP practice at Misano.

The Irishman had hoped to test a new exhaust and swingarm during FP2 but the last leak meant that he was forced to use his original bike throughout the day, instead of running a planned back-to-back analysis to compare the new parts.

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"We had the new exhaust on the second bike but couldn't run it because of an oil leak just before the start of FP2," said Laverty. "I couldn't do the back-to-back tests so we'll do it tomorrow morning.

"It messed our plans up a little bit because we have some new forks to test and a new swinging arm to try and control some flexing under acceleration. We're trying to find a better balance with the chassis, to try and give me some more feedback."

One of the keys to improving the balance of the chassis has been moving weight forward on the bike by adjusting Laverty's body position and placing his body mass more over the front in a bid to help improve the feeling of the PBM chassis under acceleration.

Having played with his riding style at Silverstone the team has moved the footrests forward on Laverty's bike by almost 1cm and afterwards the rookie confirmed the improvement, but admitted there was still issues:

"It was better today and moving my weight forward seems to have helped a lot. I still think that I'm overloading the front at times but it's definitely helping putting the weight more forward [on the bike] and it was a good step today.

"We still have the same small issue on initial pickup of the throttle and the bike not staying neutral so we're trying to find a nicer balance overall. When the track is warm it seems to suit us and I can generate the heat in the front tyre so with a few improvements tomorrow I'm feeling good."

Laverty ended the session 21st out of the 24 riders, between the ART machines of Cardion AB's Karel Abraham and his own team-mate Yonny Hernandez. Laverty now has his sights set on the CRT group just ahead, from 15th to 18th, using FTR machinery.

"We tried a lot of things this afternoon so were in and out of the pits three or four times. For a Friday to be three seconds off the quickest guy isn't too bad. We're half a second from the FTRs and I don't know if we'll easily find that but we'll work towards that. The goal is to be in the 1m 36s consistently and that would put us in a good position."