Northern Ireland’s Eugene Laverty won’t be too disheartened if he wakes up to the sound of rain on his motorhome roof at this Sunday’s British round of the MotoGP World Championship at Silverstone.
Laverty has excelled in the damp this season, clinching a memorable fourth place at Argentina in April and impressing again in the most recent round of the championship at Brno in the Czech Republic, where he finished in sixth place.
The Aspar Ducati rider has been consistently solid all season and occupies 11th place in the standings, only three points behind Britain’s Cal Crutchlow, who became the first British rider since Barry Sheene to win a premier class Grand Prix in 35 years when he triumphed at Brno.
Laverty is determined to put on a show for his friends, family and home supporters on Sunday, where he feels the power of the Ducati engine will be a significant advantage on Silverstone’s long straights.
“I can’t wait for my home Grand Prix at Silverstone. It’s a track I really enjoy, I have a lot of experience there and this year with the Ducati engine it helps a lot because there are some long straights where the Ducati power can be very helpful,” said the 30-year-old.
“So my aim is to finish in the top ten; we are close to being in the top ten in the championship which has always been my aim and of course if it rains on Sunday then I’ll be aiming for more than a top ten.
“I always have extra support at my home GP with my fans there, which always puts a smile on my face, so it will be nice to see some familiar faces, family, friends and personal sponsors, which makes this race extra special.”
It has already been a season to remember for Laverty, yet despite his eye-catching progress in only his second season in MotoGP, he has opted to move back to the World Superbike Championship in 2017.
The Toomebridge man will link up with British-based outfit Shaun Muir Racing to ride Aprilia machinery after it became clear that only one Desmosedici GP16 machine would be available in the Aspar team next year, which has been earmarked for new signing Alvaro Bautista.
Rather than settling for a less competitive GP15 version, Laverty made his decision to return to the championship in which he finished as the runner-up to Tom Sykes in 2013.
The move back to WSBK will pitch Laverty against fellow Ulsterman Jonathan Rea in an intriguing showdown, with Rea on course to retain his crown for the official Kawasaki team in 2016.