Eugene Laverty described his first day performance in Qatar as “pretty special” after topping both FP1 and FP3, while showing consistency with a second in the session in between.

The Milwaukee Aprilia rider has plenty to fight for too after finding out right at the end of this season’s proceedings that he has no seat for next year.

Laverty said that his great performance today was just what was needed:

“It couldn’t happen at a better time, the bike is working fantastic, so let’s see what tomorrow brings, we know the pace is good at this stage… I want to be on the podium tomorrow.”

On his upturn in form at the track he added:

“The first day here in Qatar was pretty special. First in first practice, second in FP2 and to finish the day on top was incredible, not just one lap pace as well - in free practice two I was out there doing a half race run, consistent pace - I couldn’t believe it when I saw my lap times every lap, one after the other, it was an amazing feeling”.

The Irishman endured a terrible start to the season after sustaining a horrific pelvic injury at round two. Laverty made an incredible recovery - since his return he has secured back-to-back podiums at Laguna Seca and Misano and Superpole at Portimao.

Laverty also praised the work done to the Aprilia to make it a contender this year in Qatar and help him continue his return to form:

“The Aprilia works well here, it’s incredible how much I can decelerate the bike in the final part of entry… I can stop the bike well with the tarmac being so smooth and flat here.

The problem with the bike last year here was that we couldn’t make the rear tyre work, we couldn’t utilise it, while what we learnt this year at Laguna Seca, at Misano, to be able to push that rear tyre and carry it forward here, everything’s working well.”

Laverty will be hoping to continue his positive start to the Qatar race weekend when he contends the final Superpole session of the year on Friday.



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