John Laverty says he is ready to make his long-awaited return to British Superbike Championship racing as he embarks on a new chapter in his career with Splitlath Redmond Aprilia.
The Ulsterman, brother of fellow BSB racer Michael Laverty, was left with a series of injuries following a high-speed accident at Oulton Park in 2011, ailments that necessitated several months of intense rehabilitation.
Nonetheless, eight months down the line, Laverty returns to the BSB grid for the start of the 2012 season at Brands Hatch riding an Aprilia RSV-4 under the Splitlath Redmond banner.
“I can't wait to get out there and race on Easter Monday,” he said. “Eight months ago I was in a critical condition and I always had a target to get back on a bike again as soon as I could. To now be in a position where I am actually going to be out there racing so soon, is pretty special.
“We've had a few tests and I like the bike. I'm comfortable with the team and everyone is 100 per cent supportive of me and has never put me under any pressure. It's always been about taking it at my pace and I'm just over the moon to be able to say I'm racing in the opening round at Brands Hatch. I'm feeling strong and I'm ready to go.”
Laverty's enthusiasm to get his season underway is shared by team-mate Florian Marino, the Frenchman crossing over from the World Supersport Championship to make what will be his Superbike racing debut.
“I am looking forward to racing here in BSB. It is such a strong championship and I am excited to be here and be a part of it. I have tested the Aprilia RSV4 at a few tracks now as I need to learn them all. I tested on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit last month in the wet so if it rains this weekend at least I know what to expect. I can't wait for the weekend to begin, I am very excited about by first British Superbike race.”