By Stephen English

Michael Laverty qualified 20th out of 24 riders for Sunday's San Marino MotoGP race at Misano.

The Irishman was satisfied with his performance, which saw him outpace PBM team-mate Yonny Hernandez and Cardion AB's Karel Abraham, both riding the full ART bike.

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"Today was a little bit better than yesterday and we improved the balance of the bike and were a bit faster but still not enough to bridge the gap to the FTRs," said the Irishman.

"The feeling on the bike was better today and the changes have made the bike nicer to ride and easier to stop. I know what we need to do and we'll try some stuff in warm-up and I still think it's possible to have a good race tomorrow."

With the likes of Danilo Petrucci and Claudio Corti having struggled this weekend, Laverty has his eyes set on battling with the pair but he also knows that he will need to find some performance if that is to happen.

A new exhaust, run for the first time on Saturday morning, has given them some added performance but the key tomorrow might be that Laverty is able to take better care of his tyres compared to his rivals.

"I'm a little bit faster than Staring, Pesek and Abraham [behind him on the grid] and we're about the same pace as Yonny but in terms of race pace if we can keep low 1m 37s I think we should be able to finish about 1m 20s behind the winner, but won't be close enough to the FTRs.

"We've improved but we need to find something in warm-up to fight with Petrucci and Corti [18th and 19th on the grid]. We ran the new exhaust this morning to see if it improved the initial response of the engine, we're lacking in that and midrange grunt compared to the Aprilias, and it seems to have helped so I ran them in qualifying too."