Karel Abraham feels he has silenced some of his critics after qualifying on the front row of the grid in second place in Argentina for round two of the MotoGP world championship.

Abraham struggled for results in the World Superbike Championship last year and his return to the premier class for 2017 was deride by some knockers, but the Czech rider has clinched his best-ever qualifying result in MotoGP and will be sandwiched between pole man Marc Marquez and Britain's Cal Crutchlow in Sunday's race.

"Of course it is a nice feeling, especially for me. I believe that in the past seasons the package we had was just not competitive enough and even though I was trying really hard, we were struggling with results, with bike failures - many different problems," said the Aspar Ducati rider.

"They were many people saying bad things about me coming back but since I sat on that bike for the first time at Valencia I felt really, really good. We were improving every time we went on the track: the first session in Malaysia, then in Australia and the Qatar. It was a bit better every time we went out there and this is a track that fits me very well, so it is a place where it is a bit easier for me to make a nice result. Anyway, I think that this hopefully improves that my place here in MotoGP is still there."

Abraham has made solid progress all weekend on the Desmosedici P15 but he approached Saturday's wet conditions with some trepidation as he rode the Ducati on Michelin tyres in the rain for the first time.

"We were working really hard every session to make the set-up a bit better and to try different tyres and we had loads of them this time to try. It all worked and we were getting faster and faster: yesterday we were P5 and then P3. Today I was a bit nervous because it was actually my very first time with the Ducati on Michelins and with the Aspar team to ride in the wet and I didn't know what to expect," Abraham said.

"In FP4 it seemed it worked pretty well, even though I think we only did seven laps. In qualifying I don't think it was 100 per-cent wet, it was drying out and I tried to push as hard as I could. For my last exit Marc [Marquez] was just in front of me so I thought why not, let's try and I pushed as hard as I could. It really worked out and I'm glad to be here.

"I definitely wouldn't expect this after last year and even two years ago we were struggling a lot with the team and the bike," he added.

"Right now, I feel great with the team and they are doing a great job. The bike is really good and we'll be pushing in the future again to make the result as nice as possible."


Cal Crutchlow - Career Profile by Crash_net