Eugene Laverty says he is actively pursuing a switch to the MotoGP World Championship in 2012 following the announcement that his Yamaha World Superbike team is withdrawing at the end of the season.
The Irishman, currently fourth in the WSBK standings, had plotted an assault on the WSBK title with Yamaha next season having already won two races in his rookie campaign, but the confirmation that the manufacturer won't continue in 2012 has scuppered those plans.
With uncertainty over whether Yamaha will have a presence at all next year, Laverty is considering following in the footsteps of predecessor Cal Crutchlow and making the switch to MotoGP, possibly also with Tech 3 Yamaha.
Indeed, Laverty – who raced in the 250GP paddock in 2007 and 2008 - feels MotoGP's imminent switch to 1000cc makes this the ideal opportunity for him to move.
“Upon receiving the news I thought it a good idea to travel to Brno to visit the MotoGP paddock,” Laverty wrote on his personal blog at eugenelaverty.com
. “I've been in talks with Herve Poncharal and I've made no secret of the fact that this would be my number one choice for next year if the opportunity arises.
“Tech 3 Yamaha are in my opinion head and shoulders above the rest of the privateer teams and on top of that I feel really at home within the Yamaha family. With MotoGP switching to 1000cc next year it would be the perfect time to make the jump to the top class.
“For now though my focus is on the final four races of the World Superbike Championship and I haven't given up on 3rd in the championship just yet. We'll need eight strong finishes to have any chance of chasing down Max or Marco so I'll see what I can do.”
Laverty is believed to be one of a few riders in contention for a Tech 3 Yamaha ride, though it hasn't been confirmed whether Colin Edwards – who is out of contract at the end of the season – will even be dropped for 2012. The likes of Randy de Puniet and Bradley Smith have also been linked with the ride.