Eugene Laverty says the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki is 'better than any Superbike' he has ridden at Phillip Island as he set an impressive pace on the first day of official pre-season testing.

The Irishman clocked a best time of 1min 30.513secs in the morning after prevailing in a session-long battle with Kawasaki's Loris Baz during which they repeatedly swapped the top spot.

In the end, Laverty's time would propel him to within three tenths of Carlos Checa's lap record and ensure he remained two tenths faster than anyone else right to the end of the day.

Laverty's strong early form comes after declaring his ambition to return Suzuki to winning ways for the first time since 2009, with the 2013 runner-up adding that the GSX-R1000 is giving him confidence around the Australian venue.

"We surprised ourselves with the lap time today. We were a lot faster than where I'd set my goal and the fact that the bike works so well around here is nice too! Today is probably the best conditions I've ever had at Phillip Island, usually you have a strong head wind, strong tail wind, or it's too hot and slippery.

"Today was optimum temperature with very little wind so that's why the lap times were so quick. In terms of feedback the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R is better than any Superbike I've ridden here, I can really attack the course more than I ever have done, and that gives me a lot of confidence. The rear tyres are working well too, even after 24 laps we are still under my lap record so that's definitely positive!"

For the full report and times from the opening day of the Phillip Island test, CLICK HERE

Testing continues tomorrow.



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