John Laverty has thanked sponsors Buildbase for sticking with him in his search for a new British Superbike ride after a deal with North West Ducati fell through.
The reigning Superbike Cup champion was on the verge of stepping up to the championship class with the same team for 2009, alongside FIM Superstock 1000 winner Brendan Roberts, while Michael Rutter was being earmarked to run the team.
However, when Rutter chose not to take up the offer and Roberts was eventually placed in the World Superbike Championship with Guandalini Racing, Ducati pulled their factory backing to leave Laverty without a ride.
Nonetheless, Laverty will continue to race in 2009 after joining the Hawk Kawasaki team, renamed Buildbase Kawasaki by virtue of his personal sponsor, after the backing allowed them to expand to two bikes.
“It was a bit tight to the wire,” he told Crash.net
. “Myself and the rest of the team were hanging on false promises. I am really lucky I have Buildbase and Steve Thompstone, who said they'd continue working with me.
“This gave me more options because they offered title sponsorship to the team. Without them I'd have hit the panic button a lot earlier, so I'm happy.”
“It was a whole money aspect with Ducati. The factory Ducati is an expensive bike to run, but it was really in the hands of them in the end. They wanted to place Brendan Roberts on the bike and I think they were looking to get me on there too, while Rutter would have managed the team. It all fell through when Ducati put Brendan in World Superbikes. We tried to make it work but it came down to money.”
Laverty will race alongside Tristan Palmer in the team this season.