By Christian Tiburtius
An exclusive interview with MotoGP rookie Michael Laverty, who races the brand-new PBM motorcycle for the Paul Bird Motorsport team.
The 31-year-old Ulsterman, who moved to MotoGP straight from BSB, is currently fifth out of twelve riders in the privateer CRT standings...
How did it come about that we have three Laverty brothers in racing?
Our father was a road racer and as a family we've always been into bikes. As kids we had motocross bikes, we didn't see it as a career choice but just raced each other around the fields at home.
Our father never pushed us into racing; we got into it via some local friends who went motocross racing. As I said, it was never a career plan, it was just a passion we had from an early age that we were born into via our father. Our father retired when our older sister was born and we took it from there.
Our father had been through the road racing scene and was happy and lucky to walk out of it alive. So he didn't want us to go down that route so he took us straight to the mainland British championship to learn our trade.
We all started in the 125GP series on proper race circuits like Brands Hatch rather than being sucked in by the road-racing scene which was even bigger then when people like Joey Dunlop were around. It was quite a strange thing at that time to be brought up in Northern Ireland and not to go road racing, but we decided to do our own thing and it's worked out fine in the end.
Our father was very conscious of the danger of road racing and didn't want us doing it. Both my father and mother have put a huge amount into our career often driving us overnight after school on Friday to race and then back again in time for school on Monday, so even if we wanted to do a road race we wouldn't do it on principle because of the effort they made to get us out of that scene.
On Friday we would load the transporter with our 125s and together with my brothers, my parents and my brother-in-law Philip drive to the circuits. Philip was just a friend who was our spanner man, but is now Eugene's chief technician in WSBK and is probably one of the best technicians in the paddock. He also grew up with us and we learned our trade together.
I was in my final year and had just moved to college and Eugene and John were still at school and were always looking to bunk off on a Monday after racing. My parents were very disciplined though and made sure we got our education