World Supersport runner-up Eugene Laverty, the highest ranked rider to return for 2010, underlined that he is the man to beat by finishing the Portimao test fastest in both the wet and the dry.
The Parkalgar Honda rider, who battled Cal Crutchlow to the final round of 2009, toppled Kawasaki's Joan Lascorz from the top of the test timesheets during the sixth and final track session - despite less favourable weather conditions.
“Eugene was fastest overall in the dry, setting his best time on Sunday when conditions were not as good as Friday,” confirmed team manager Simon Buckmaster. “He was also fastest in the wet. That's a good start for him and he is relaxed and enjoying his riding, his approach is professional and controlled.”
“My bike feels good and although there was mixed wet and dry weather, I enjoyed getting back up to speed,” stated Laverty. “We tested some ideas, parts and settings and I can honestly say I am delighted with the progress made. The cobwebs have been dusted off and there is more to come, I can't wait to get racing.”
Meanwhile, team-mate and local star Miguel Praia was arguably even more satisfied with his fourth position.
“We made quite a big step at this test regarding consistency of lap times. In every session I was up towards the front. It was just at the end of the sessions when some other riders, maybe using different tyres, were able to open a little gap,” he said.
“Only Sofuoglu is missing from this test so this step I have made is fantastic. I must take this performance to all other tracks. Everything is good and although the temperature was low and my tyres weren't working the way I wanted today I am happy. When we get to Australia we are all on a level playing field.”
“Miguel has had an excellent test and fourth overall is a big achievement for him,” said Buckmaster. “He is focussed and now he has new confidence. We will do all we can to ensure he takes this form into the races.”
Parkalgar Honda will next be on track at the Phillip Island test in Australia just before the opening round at the track which takes place on Sunday, February 28th.