Eugene Laverty had the honour of emerging as the best of the local riders after first qualifying at Donington Park, the Yamaha rider sneaking onto a 'provisional' front row in fourth.

The Irishman joined his team-mate Marco Melandri towards the top of the timesheets after making substantial strides between FP1 and Q1, Laverty moving into position with less than five minutes of the session remaining.

Certain he has done enough to make it into Superpole, Laverty says he has now afforded himself the chance to work on race set-up aboard the R1 in Q2 and FP2.

"A very good first practice this morning. We were low down in the classification but we knew that what we were testing this afternoon would make a big step and guarantee a provisional front row which is perfect.

"It's nice to put a safe lap in now which should put us through to Superpole. In the morning we'll work on our race setting and be ready for the two races on Sunday.

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