Eugene Laverty admits he is surprised to have started the penultimate round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship so positively after ending the first day of free practice in second place.

The Irishman, who was this week confirmed as riding an Aspar Honda in MotoGP, begun the day with the fifth best time in FP1 before rising to second in FP2, his time three tenths off pace setter Davide Giugliano.

Surprised to have started so well on the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki, Laverty is now hoping he can maintain the form for the remainder of the weekend.

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"It's been a very positive start to the weekend! I didn't believe we would be as strong here actually so it's always nice to surprise yourself.

"We tried two different types of tyres to try to understand which could be our race tyre, so we are working positively and once again we are focused on getting a good qualifying position, which would be nice."