Eugene Laverty left Assen empty handed on Saturday afternoon after falling out of the battle for the top 'Open' MotoGP machine on lap 16.

Fixed with the new swingarm that has provided greater feel on used tyres, Laverty had just set his personal best lap of the race before a fall at turn ten ruled him out of proceedings.

Laverty admitted it was his mistake after pushing to the limit to stay with a three-rider battle that included Loris Baz, Alvaro Bautista and Nicky Hayden.

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"I was pushing hard," said Laverty. "I did my fastest lap just before I crashed. I was starting to have some problems with the front. It was starting to move around on that corner when I opened the gas. I almost saved it but I couldn't. It was a light crash but we were right where we needed to be: fighting for the 'Open' class win. Unfortunately the position was only for 15th but anyway.

"I think for the 'Open' Honda here it was a difficult track. The important thing was to be there for the 'Open' class win and we weren't so far away. Nicky had just overtaken me so it was Baz, Bautista, Nicky and me. We were all together. Then with ten laps remaining I tried my best to get that point to make it four successive points scoring finishes but I pushed a little bit too hard."

As is the case when many new components are introduced, one problem is alleviated while another is created. With the post-race test in Barcelona getting rained off, Laverty was unable to fully test the swingarm's potential before arriving in Holland.

The continual threat of rain throughout the weekend meant he had to keep his spare bike prepared with a damp setting. While Laverty admitted the balance of the bike wasn't perfect, he was buoyed by both his consistency and his ability to lap faster in the second half of the race than the first.

"Getting the bike turned, off the brake and onto the gas, that's the point where we felt a little bit of a risk and an area we need to work on. It's just a balance issue with the bike. As soon as the fuel goes down I need to try to keep the weight on the front. It's not a major issue. It's just a small change of balance.

"In general we can see the lap time was really constant. The first time this year I've been able to make my fastest lap after half race distance. It's clear the rear grip was staying good and the rear stability was there. I'm just working on this small area with the front. It's not something that's giving me great concern. I know the bike is more where it needs to be now."

As he nears the midway point in his debut MotoGP season, Laverty feels he is still exploring the potential of his Aspar 'Open' Honda machine while minimising the gap to the other 'Open' machines.

"With the new swingarm we did a good job this weekend. There's more potential to come from that. It's often the case that when you improve one area it can create other problems. We need to fix this problem with the front. We know what to do. Unfortuantely it's my first race crash this year. What can I say? It was not a fantastic weekend but we were there or thereabouts.

"All my lap times were within half a second more or less. My rhythm, I hoped for a little bit more. 1m 35.8s...I was hoping for mid-1m 35s but I was having to push to do that. We were consistent but we were just a little off where we needed to be."