Eugene Laverty says the opening round of the 2013 World Superbike Championship could be decided by who can preserve their tyres best at Phillip Island.
Two days of testing have given the WSBK teams a chance to test the Pirelli rubber in both hot and cool conditions, though the upcoming race weekend is expected to see temperatures rise once again.
With this in mind, Laverty is focused on ensuring his Aprilia RSV4 lasts the distance, the Irishman confident his balanced machine will give him the edge over the opposition.
“I think we're ready for the race weekend. The tyre life is going to be the most important thing, but we're still a long way from Sunday so we don't know what the conditions will be. The Aprilia seems to be working, in my opinion, better than any other bike here for the balance, I'm positive we can start the season with some good results.”
Team-mate Sylvain Guintoli, meanwhile, says he feels 'closer to the bike' after two days of testing, the Frenchman going tenth fastest overall, just behind his team-mate and satellite Aprilia rider Davide Giugliano.
“The tests have gone well,” he said. “Over the days I got to know the bike better. We concentrated most of the work on making the bike fast for the race, which is going to be an issue for many people here. After this test sessions I feel closer to the bike and closer to my Team and this is really important. I'm looking forward to the weekend and I'm aiming to put on a good show on Sunday.”