Jerez was one of Michael Laverty's strongest races in 2013 with the Irishman scoring the first points of his MotoGP career at the Spanish venue and on the opening day of this weekend's race he was clearly pleased with the potential of the PBM bike for this weekend.

Laverty finished the session 21st fastest but the gap of 2.1s to the pacesetter, Marc Marquez, was something that will give Laverty confidence for rest of the weekend.

His speed on day one was confirmed by the fact that he set his time on the penultimate lap of his session with a used tyre and if not for a mistake Laverty felt that he could have gone up to half a second faster.

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"It was pretty good in FP2 and we tried some back to back comparisons with the two bikes in the morning," he told Crash.net. "We used the set-up that we used at the test here last year and the one that we got to in Argentina and Texas. In the afternoon we continued with the one from the last few races and made a few small changes. That set-up has been paying off the last few races for us.

"When the temperature went up everybody went slower but I went faster, I was getting up to speed more than anything, but I dipped into the 41's and on my last lap I ran wide and without that I could have had a 41.5s which would put us in the mix. I think our pace is pretty good and we're consistently doing good times. There's a few guys good on one lap but not doing it as consistently as I was.

"I did my best lap at the end on the hard tyre so I think that if I had stuck in a soft tyre I'd have found even more pace. I did 12 laps on the soft, and did a 41.9s on the last lap, so I think that if I can do the distance on it tomorrow morning I'll know for the race if the soft can run. There's more time to be had tomorrow, I didn't use a new soft tyre at the end today and we had an old engine in my number one bike which is just running out its mileage, so hopefully we'll have more to come tomorrow and we can keep plugging away."

Throughout the day Laverty followed numerous Factory riders and even this gave him encouragement to expect a strong performance this weekend.

"It was nice to be able to follow Bautista and be all over him under braking and with then in the corners. He ended up in P7 so it's nice to see that I'm riding well, when I followed the top guys even Marquez he wasn't pulling away a lot, in the first section of the lap."

With track temperatures reaching a scorching 53C many riders struggled for grip in the afternoon, with numerous crashes attributed to the lack of grip from the greasy surface, however Laverty felt that one of the big advantages for him was that the lack of power from his Open bike meant that he wasn't punished under acceleration compared to some of the more powerful bikes:

"The hotter it is the better for us. The heat doesn't hurt us as much as the guys with more horsepower, they get more wheelspin. The greasier the track is the more it seems to help me and I can keep my pace whereas they seem to lose a bigger chunk so I kind of want it to be hot. It would be easier physically if it was cooler because this is a tough circuit. There's no straights to relax on and you barely have a breather on the back straight so it's tough. The rider is always working hard here and there's some hard braking areas. It's a nice circuit and one that you need to get the setup right on because one corner leads into another."

While Laverty's race pace has been quite competitive in 2014 his qualifying speed and early race pace has been disappointing. PBM are developing a new fuel tank to change the weight distribution on full tanks that should be available later in the season however Laverty is confident that at Jerez the bike should be faster in qualifying if they can find some improvements prior to the session:

"I'm feeling quite good and this is the best Friday afternoon feeling that I've had all year. We generally improve over the rest of the weekend so maybe the customer Hondas won't be out of reach to us this weekend and we can knock on their doors. I know that my race pace is always better than my one lap pace so if I can get close to them in qualifying and not lose too much in the early laps we can be there in the race. I think that speed wise we can be aiming for points this weekend."