Eugene Laverty has hailed the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki as the best Superbike he has ever ridden at Phillip Island after topping day one of the official test at the spectacular Australian circuit.
Laverty, who finished as the runner-up in last year’s World Superbike Championship, lapped in 1m 30.5s to take the top spot as he prepares for the opening round of the 2014 series this weekend.
The Northern Ireland rider finished ahead of Ducati’s Davide Giugliano and world champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki), who lapped in 1m 30.718s and 1m 30.737s respectively.
Laverty’s team-mate and British Superbike champion Alex Lowes was fifth fastest (1m 31.0s) with Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea ninth (1m 31.404s).
Afterwards, Laverty admitted he had exceeded his own expectations.
“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,” he said.
“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.”