Tuesday, November 8


IRISHMAN Eugene Laverty has joined the Alitalia Aprilia team for the 2012 Superbike World Championship.

Laverty, Supersport World Champion in 2010, raced a Yamaha YZF-R1 in the 2011 Superbike World Championship but following the announcement that the Yamaha World Superbike Team would withdraw from the championship, he was left looking for a ride.

He was then approached by the Alitalia Aprilia team and rode one of the PATA Racing team’s RSV4s at the Portimao Superbike test session at the conclusion of the 2011 Superbike World Championship, surprising many people by setting fastest time in the time, with a best lap of 1m 42.8s.

"That felt pretty good," said Laverty, "and I did a few other fast laps too. When I first rode it, it felt small and I noticed how much I could move around the bike. We had to make some changes, from the base setting that Aprilia has. We had some chatter and some harshness and we really worked through a lot really and by the end we had all but fixed all the problems we had. Everything I had heard about the Aprilia made me a little bit wary of the rigidity, the lack of engine braking, but it was no problems at the end of me. For me the engine braking was fine and I thought there would be less. I was looking forward to riding this bike and it has really impressed me."

Laverty is due to ride alongside Italian Max Biaggi in 2012 after Englishman Leon Camier’s Aprilia contract was not extended.