Michael Laverty qualified in 20th position for tomorrow’s MotoGP race and afterwards the Irishman was clearly satisfied with his performance which saw him outqualify his teammate, Yonny Hernandez, as well the ART of Karel Abraham.
When asked for his thoughts on today’s performance in qualifying the rookie felt that with the handling improving on his bike after recent setup changes that his stronger qualifying performance could be an indicator of improved race pace tomorrow:
“Today was a little bit better than yesterday and we improved the balance of the bike and were a bit faster but still not enough to bridge the gap to the FTRs,” said the Irishman. “The feeling on the bike was better today and the changes have made the bike nicer to ride and easier to stop. I know what we need to do and we’ll try some stuff in warmup and I still think it’s possible to have a good race tomorrow.”
With the likes of Danilo Petrucci and Claudio Corti having struggled this weekend Laverty has his eyes set on battling with the pair but he also knows that he will need to find some performance if that is to happen. A new exhaust, ran for the first time this morning, has given them some added performance but the key tomorrow might be that Laverty is able to take better care of his tyres compared to his rivals.
“I’m a little bit faster than Staring, Pesek and Abraham and we’re about the same pace as Yonny [Hernandez] but in terms of race pace if we can keep low 1m37s I think we should be able to finish about 1m20s behind the winner but won’t be close enough to the FTRs. We’ve improved but we need to find something in warmup to fight with Petrucci and Corti tomorrow. We ran the new exhaust this morning to see if it improved the initial response of the engine, we’ve lacking in that and midrange grunt compared to the Aprilia’s, and it seems to have helped that so I ran them in qualifying too.”