Northern Ireland’s Eugene Laverty is aiming to transfer his impressive qualifying performance into a points-scoring result in the Argentina MotoGP on Sunday evening.
The Power Electronics Aspar Honda rider, who is making his race debut at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, clinched 14th place on the grid on the Open class RC213V-RS ahead of Japan’s Hiroshi Aoyama on the factory Repsol Honda, who is standing in for Dani Pedrosa as the Spaniard recovers from surgery to help eradicate problems with arm pump.
The Toomebridge man, who is competing in his debut season in the premier class for the Spanish outfit, also qualified ahead of team-mate and 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden, who will start from 20th.
“Today has certainly been my best day since I’m in MotoGP. This morning we did a great job, getting really close to the top ten,” said Laverty on Saturday.
“In Qatar we improved, in Austin too and here we have done it again. Our feeling with the Honda is getting better, we were able to conclude today in 14th position, so I consider it a positive result.
“The good thing is we’ve got a fast lap, but also in the final practice session we had a strong pace on hard tyres,” he added.
“In general the bike set up is good. I am satisfied, tomorrow I hope to end the weekend successfully, I would definitely like to get some points and have a good battle.”
Marc Marquez sealed pole on the Repsol Honda by half-a-second from Suzuki’s Aleix Espargaro and Italian rider Andrea Iannone (Ducati).
World championship leader Valentino Rossi was eighth fastest on the Movistar Yamaha.
The race is scheduled for an 8pm start on Sunday evening (BST).