Eugene Laverty will start off the front row of a World Superbike Championship grid for the first time in ten races after qualifying in fifth position for Aprilia's home round at Imola.

Laverty, along with team-mate Sylvain Guintoli, has endured a troublesome weekend at Imola thus far, the pair struggling to find a comfortable setting on the RSV4.

This was seemingly evident during Superpole as Laverty, who is yet to score a pole position in World Superbikes, didn't look capable of challenging for his now customary spot on the three-man front row.

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Indeed, you have to go back to Silverstone last year to find the last time Laverty didn't get underway from the head of the grid, and while the Irishman was content to qualify on the second row, he admits he is still having issues with the bike heading into race day.

"It's been since Silverstone last year that I haven't started from the front row, but it had to happen sooner or later. We've actually been struggling all weekend and we still need to improve in order to make a play for it with Rea and Sykes.

"We have definitely improved throughout the sessions but I still don't have the bike that I'd like for the races tomorrow. I did the time that earned me fifth place with race tyres, so that means that if I push to the limit and take some risks I'll be able to shave almost a second off my pace. Unfortunately you can't do that for more than two laps."