Rea and Laverty welcome World Superbikes to NI
World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea and fellow rider and countryman Eugene Laverty last night expressed delight that the WSB series is headed for their native Northern Ireland.
World Superbikes has signed a three year deal to stage a Northern Ireland round at the new £30m Lake Torrent circuit at Coalisland from 2019.
It will be a major crowd puller and money-spinner, hailed by reigning three times winner Rea as "a dream" to race in front of his home fans.
The Ballyclare rider said: "I'm so excited about this news because motorcycling in Northern Ireland has a huge heritage, right through from Joey Dunlop to myself and Eugene Laverty.
"It's the icing on the cake - to go to my real home where I grew up riding and race in front of my home fans. It's exciting to have a circuit back home to help bring on the next generation to the world stage."
Eugene Laverty, whose Toome family home is near the new circuit, added: "When you look at how big the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix are, it shows how well supported the sport is in Northern Ireland.
"Hosting a home World Superbike round is something I always wished for in my lifetime."