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Eugene Laverty is geared up for the MotoGP challenge with Aspar Honda

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New direction: Eugene Laverty will ride for the Aspar team in the 2015 MotoGP series after quitting the Crescent Suzuki World Superbike outfit

New direction: Eugene Laverty will ride for the Aspar team in the 2015 MotoGP series after quitting the Crescent Suzuki World Superbike outfit

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New direction: Eugene Laverty will ride for the Aspar team in the 2015 MotoGP series after quitting the Crescent Suzuki World Superbike outfit

Monaco based Ulsterman Eugene Laverty will return to the MotoGP paddock next season with Aspar Honda, having secured a two-year deal, after twice finishing runner-up in the SBK paddock.

Laverty shone in the Supersport class during his debut season in 2009 before increasing his value by taking second spot in the premier World Superbike class just last year with the factory Aprilia squad.

“I am very excited to take on this new challenge with Aspar Honda,” said Laverty who competed in 250 Grand Prix in 2007 and 2008. “My greatest wish was always to compete in MotoGP and finally it will be granted thanks to the Aspar team.

“I have had to wait quite a long time but finally the chance is here and my dream has become a reality. I learned a lot the last time I was in the MotoGP paddock, but I was very young back then and I didn't have the right material to succeed, so hopefully this time we can improve on that.”

Aspar team boss Jorge Martinez said Laverty had been in his sights for some time, explaining: “Eugene Laverty is a rider we were already in contact with last year.

“We tried to sign him then and even though we didn't manage it at the time he is a rider we have been interested in for a long time.

“I think he is a rider with great potential. He has produced some incredible races in Supersport and Superbikes, and he has a lot of wins on his record with a lot of different manufacturers, which says a lot about his capacity to adapt.

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“Maybe he hasn't had the luck that you always need to win a world title but I am sure that he will be giving 100 per cent to the Aspar team.”

It’s a far cry from Laverty’s first visit to the MotoGP paddock at the end of 2006, where he arrived totally unprepared as an innocent 20-year-old, to meet his new team boss for the following season’s 250GP campaign — LCR Honda’s Lucio Checchinnello.

With no pre-travel plans pencilled in, Laverty was forced to blag a lift and share a room with journalists that weekend at a sold out Valencia. Ironically, the very next day Laverty’s new team-mate for 2015 at Aspar Honda, American Nicky Hayden, was to take his one and only MotoGP world championship crown.

Hayden’s career has taken on a somewhat lateral form during the middle period between 2007 and 2014, but Laverty has undoubtedly added volume to his CV during that time.

Nineteen podiums last year with Aprilia produced nine victories and only a minor blip during the year cost him the title, which eventually went to British rider Tom Sykes on the factory Kawasaki.

A potential opportunity to jump on Suzuki’s all-new MotoGP machine in 2015 tempted the 28-year-old Toomebridge man to join Voltcom Crescent Suzuki this term.

Sadly two podiums and just one victory have left the Ulsterman gritting his teeth and saying all the right things, whilst patiently waiting for the clock to run down on a painful season aboard the Suzuki.

But with a MotoGP opportunity just over the horizon, albeit on a Production based Honda, Laverty has finally arrived in the big time — and he’s pretty pleased.


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