John Laverty was the fastest of the UK based racers who are taking part in this year's Kings of Wanneroo race meeting in Perth, Western Australia after today's first practice session. Riding a Honda Fireblade supplied by a local race team, Laverty posted third quickest time behind the Australian champion Glenn Allerton (Honda).
The North West 200 Ducati squad member is part of a contingent of local riders who are taking part in the event. Ian Lowry, Michael Laverty, Ryan Farquhar, Michael Swann, Adrian Coates and Karl Harris are also joined by Relentless Suzuki riders Cameron Donald and Bruce Anstey in Wanneroo.
The organisers invited the UK based riders to the meeting in an attempt to raise the profile of the event after it lost its status as part of the Australian Superbike championship.
Riding Superstock-based machines prepared by local teams or dealerships in Western Australia, John Laverty found it easier to adapt to the more standard spec bikes than many of the riders.
"I am used to the Superstock set up so I was OK with the bike and the team are looking after me really well." John said. " I really like the circuit too- the big cambers and banked corners suit my style."
Karl Harris (Yamaha R1) split the Laverty brothers with fourth quickest time to Michael's sixth spot. Having just announced his departure from Relentless Suzuki Michael was held up in the opening practice when the gear linkage fell off his bike.
Adrian Coates, riding his last competitive race before retirement, was an impressive 8th quickest on a Yamaha R1. Moira rider Ian Lowry (Suzuki) completed the top ten and Michael Swann, on an uncompetitive KTM, was 22nd.
Road racers Cameron Donald, Ryan Farquhar and Bruce Anstey all struggled with the circuit and their unfamiliar machines. Donald (Suzuki) has raced Wanneroo three times previously but he struggled against the track racers and finished twelfth.
Farquhar (Kawasaki) posted 18th fastest time and Bruce Anstey (Suzuki), having his first race since the TT, only completed one of the two sessions as he tried to get his bike set up.