Aspar Honda's Eugene Laverty said he was in a 'crazy' position in 19th place after setting a quickest lap within one second of pacesetter Marc Marquez in Qatar.

Laverty improved significantly on his best lap from FP2 to clock a 1m 55.913s on the RC213V-RS, but with only 1.2s covering the top 20 riders every fraction of a second makes a big difference.

The premier class rookie never expected to make it into Q2 but said the competitiveness of the field was 'nuts'.

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"Yesterday was a disaster, I had a front tyre issue. The lap time is better than the test already so that's nice," said the Irishman.

"We were never going to get into Q2, but we put a new tyre in and tried it, but I think a 1m 55 was the best I was ever going to do. But to be one second off, and down in 19th is crazy.

"It's just nuts to be separated by one second over, what - 5 km around this place? And half of that we lose in the last split."

Pressed on exactly why he was losing so much in the final sector, Laverty said the problem was on the exit of the final corner.

"It's the exit of the last corner. That's what I can see. If you look at Aleix Espargaro, even though he's down on power, he's two tenths above us," he said.

"I'm the fastest Open Honda through the last split, and the Ducatis and stuff are all up there, because there seems to be so much there. But that's so much time.

"For me it's the exit. We've got to figure out exactly why it is because the engine isn't far off. It shouldn't be too different, but we're losing a lot - 10kph down there.

"I've got to figure out how the hell to launch the thing out of the last corner. I hope to improve on there for sure, because you can't be a second off, and giving away, say, three tenths of that out of the last corner coming on to the finish line."

Laverty's team-mate, Nicky Hayden, was 16th fastest after a lap in 1m 55.789s.