Eugene Laverty is confident he can produce consistent race pace, as well as fast single laps, at Phillip Island after an encouraging start to the opening World Superbike round in Australia.

The Irishman recovered from a modest performance in first free practice to set the second quickest time in Q1, just behind fellow Aprilia rider Michel Fabrizio, but insists his focus is on ensuring his bike can sustain its tyres over a race distance.

With this in mind, Laverty is confident his approach at this stage in the weekend will reap dividends when race day comes around.

"This morning we weren't extremely fast, but in the afternoon we made some changes on my RSV4 to adapt it to the conditions and we took a big step forward. My single lap is good, but the key is to maintain consistency for the entire race.

"There are a lot of riders who don't stand out in the single lap but they've got an excellent race pace, and we're also doing well in that department. I don't have any particular problems and even when I'm lapping fast I'm careful not to wear the tyres quickly so that helps me to be consistent."

Though further down the order in ninth place, team-mate Sylvain Guintoli is also satisfied with his form over a longer distance.

"It was definitely a positive day," he said. "I'm able to ride comfortably and that allows me to maintain a good pace over several laps.

"We weren't able to get in a really fast lap because we were testing a front tyre that was softer than what I needed, but the important thing is that we know we can still shave a few tenths off. Tomorrow it will be crucial to get everything sorted, put in a good Superpole and be ready for the races on Sunday."



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