MotoGP: Eugene Laverty begins final test ahead of Qatar blast-off

Eugene Laverty on the Aspar Ducati.
Eugene Laverty on the Aspar Ducati.

Eugene Laverty is continuing to build towards the opening round of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship later this month with a final test in Qatar at the Losail International Circuit.

The Northern Ireland rider is aiming to make up for lost time after a crash at Sepang in February on the first day of the 2016 tests left him nursing a wrist injury, which cost him valuable track time.

Now preparing for his second season in the premier class, Laverty was 20th fastest under the floodlights in Qatar on the Aspar Ducati GP14.2, lapping in 1m 58.269s.

“Today the most important thing was to get comfortable on the bike. Like I said at the last test [at Phillip Island in Australia] it still didn’t feel like my bike so today we have changed the position a little bit and I feel much more comfortable,” he said.

“Just small things like adjusting the footpeg position allows me to move more easily around the bike, do more laps and towards the end of evening I was able to start pushing a bit more. Now we know what we need to change to go faster, because that will be the aim tomorrow.”

Reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo topped the times on the Movistar Yamaha with a lap in 1m 55.452s, which left him four tenths clear of Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales.

Valentino Rossi was third fastest on the second factory Yamaha ahead of Ducati’s Andrea Iannone on the GP15 Desmosedici.

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was 10th quickest and 1.071 seconds behind Lorenzo as the factory Honda riders continue to experience handling problems with the RC213V.