Eugene Laverty has qualified in 19th position for this afternoon's Motul MotoGP race of Assen. Laverty, riding with a new swingarm in his Power Electrics Aspar Honda, set a lap time of one minute 34.428 seconds for the 2.8-mile course, just 1.8 seconds off the record time set by nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi.
Laverty saw a 1.2-second jump in his lap times after the upgrade. He said: "We have a good race pace. I managed to match the 2013 pole position time, all I need now is a time machine!
"My qualifying position isn't dreadful and it isn't fantastic.
"I'm content with qualifying because the bike is feeling good on used tyres and we gave everything we had, finishing as top Open Honda.
"It's difficult to be happy with 19th, but the race is where it counts and this is probably the first time that I can see a positive side. The new swingarm is helping and we will be much more consistent in the second half of the race.
"We're definitely closer to where we want to be. I was really pushing to get the new swingarm because I knew it was something that I really wanted as opposed to just a new, shiny part.
"I'm positive that we have now found the right balance and we can control rear grip. This will help us have a good race here and beyond."
Closer to home, today sees the latest round of the Irish Superbike Championship take place at Bishopscourt with racing commencing from 11.30am while at Tandragee the Ulster Motocross Championship reaches the halfway mark without series leader Wayne Garrett, who sustained a serious leg injury last month while racing in Cork.
The action at Tandragee will start at approximately 11.00am.