Eugene Laverty edged closer to his goal of becoming a World Supersport race winner by qualifying an excellent second to Cal Crutchlow for round two at Qatar.
“I am happy with everything about my Parkalgar Honda and qualifying, it is good, even my race pace,” said the former 250GP rider. “I haven't completed a full race distance run but very close to it and the rear tyre is fine, we have been working on the front and made that tyre choice as well.
“Between sessions we concentrated on the front end of the bike and rather than making a small one-step change we made a larger two step change in the direction we think is best and it worked perfectly. We have changed the chassis and geometry to add more weight to the front for improved feel and better turning in the tighter areas of the track.
“It's hard to believe that Cal Crutchlow and I qualified and finished together in Phillip Island and we have qualified together again. I'm looking forward to the race,” concluded Laverty, who lapped less than half a tenth from pole.
“What a mega job by Eugene,” enthused team manager Simon Buckmaster. “On ideal times combining the best sectors of each rider he would have been on pole position. His race pace is right at the front along with Sofuoglu, Pitt, Crutchlow and maybe Foret; the winner I expect will come from this group and Eugene has a great chance.”
Meanwhile, team-mate Miguel Praia crashed twice in final qualifying and eventually finished 14th.
“I set my best qualifying lap early in the session on a used tyre and then had two crashes,” he confirmed. “In both crashes I went in to the corners too hot and I am sorry to my crew for the damage to the bikes and the extra work it means for them to repair them. I am disappointed with these crashes but lucky to be uninjured and will make the most of 14th on the grid. I like this circuit, my Parkalgar Honda is good and I really do think the top 10 is achievable.”