Eugene Laverty hailed his 'best Friday' in MotoGP as the Power Electronics Honda rider finished 15th overall on the times after running as high as eighth in FP1.

The premier class rookie set his best lap in the morning in 1m 40.114s to finish 0.940s behind Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo as he capitalised on his familiarity with the Spanish circuit to make his best start to a MotoGP weekend so far.

"Today was my best Friday and it's the first time that I've been in the right position on a Friday. The last couple of rounds I had to learn the track on the Friday and on Saturday I'd pop up but I'm already there on day one so that's positive," said Laverty.

Related Articles

"I'm not quite where I want to be but it's a good start and 14th or 15th is the right area. I think that QP2 is within our grasp and even this morning there was the potential to do a 39s lap but this afternoon it was tough because it was slippery.

"I thought though that this morning there was potential to get into the top ten. Tomorrow morning will be cool again so we know that we're all going to be going for it! I know that I can go faster but it's not just me, everyone will feel that they can go faster. I've got to try and make the best lap that I can," he added.

"One side of the tyre is the same as the Factory bikes, unfortunately it looks like Ducati's success has cost us because it's clear who they're trying to limit at the moment. We used to get a full soft tyre but now we're getting half a soft tyre.

"It's clear that the advantage has been reduced and it's tougher to do what Aleix [Espargaro] did last year when he could pop up with a really fast time on that tyre. For me it's clear that the soft tyre advantage isn't as big as it was in the past, we've lost one side of the tyre to the factory bikes, and if I look at it from an outsider's perspective I'd view it that that's the reason."

Laverty is improving his feel with the Open class Honda all the time but admits he is still some way off maximising the machine's full potential.

"We've adjusted the bike to suit me and we're making progress with it. I always felt that I adjusted quite quickly to the tyres but I haven't felt that we've reached the potential of the Open Honda," he said.

"Honda have given us a good bike and I still think that there's more to come from it. In Argentina we improved the chassis a little bit and coming here I know the track so that's put us on a good path.

"The electronics...the less Traction Control the better for me at the moment but the engine braking is working well now so the electronics package is coming together but there's still more to come from this bike," he added.

"In Argentina I showed on the Saturday that we can do a good job but Sunday was really poor and I was 10s behind where I expected to be on the race. I've never been a Saturday guy, I've always been a racer and being there on a Sunday so that's not a nice feeling to drop back on the Sunday.

"The race isn't about your one lap pace, that's what Saturday is about, but on race day I've got to put those 27 laps together. I'm confident that it'll come but I'm a racer and I want to get the results that we deserve. The team are working well and the bike is good."

Laverty's team-mate, Nicky Hayden, was 19th fastest and 1.2 seconds behind Lorenzo after the first free practice sessions and said afterwards he struggled to feel comfortable on the Open class RC213V-RS.

"Jerez is a circuit I always enjoy riding at and I had a good feeling with the bike here last year so we were optimistic for today but I struggled to get comfortable," said Hayden.

"It was tough to work today because there was such a drastic change in the track temperature from the morning to the afternoon and after finding a good way forward this morning we struggled to build on it.

"The lack of rear grip made it difficult to get the bike turned and we are losing a lot of time in the two fast rights at the end of the lap," he added.

"We took a step backwards, which helped us to understand the situation a little better but we have to work hard tomorrow and bear in mind the conditions we are going to face in the race."