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Laverty: I thought world dream was over
11 December 2012
Michael Laverty admits he believed his chance of earning a ride in the MotoGP World Championship had passed him by.
The 31-year-old has been drafted into Paul Bird's PBM UK team for 2013 but in his typically frank and honest style concedes it was an opportunity he wasn't expecting.
Laverty said: “It was an opportunity that was quite unexpected but one that I had to take really whenever it came my way.
“You just never know if you're going to get an opportunity to ride in the top class in the world and I never thought I would get that shot – I always aimed at maybe getting a crack at World Superbikes one day.
“So it's nice to be at the pinnacle of the sport, although obviously CRT is the second division in MotoGP if you like, but it's still going to be a challenge and there are a lot of big names in there.”
The Northern Irishman believes the British Superbike Championship has become less of a recruiting ground for world championship teams due to rule changes that have prevented riders from entering World Superbike rounds as wildcards.
“I could have continued racing in BSB for the rest of my career and maybe never have had a shot at MotoGP because the World Superbike teams don't really look at BSB any more,” Laverty said.
“They used to pick the BSB riders because they did a few World Superbike rounds as wildcards and showed they could run at the front, but with the different rules now we're not able to do wildcards any more and it kind of isolates us in the British championship.
“It's a strong championship, but everyone has aspirations to go up to world level.”
Laverty's aim next season is to establish himself among the top CRT riders on the PBM Aprilia machine, when he'll run a new chassis and Magneti Marelli electronics system.
“If I'm in MotoGP and I have some good results then you get noticed and you never know what may happen in the future on the world stage,” he said.
“It's a good step in my career and it's going to be difficult to be right in the picture next season because you're racing behind 12 prototype bikes, but you hope to be in there challenging for CRT wins and being the most successful CRT rider.
“That's what I'm aiming for and if I can do that then it's a big step forward for my career.”
Shane Byrne had been Bird's top choice for MotoGP next year, but 'Shakey' opted instead to defend his British Superbike title in Bird's Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team.
Colombian Yonny Hernandez will ride the Aprilia ART machine raced this year by James Ellison, who has joined Shaun Muir's Milwaukee Yamaha team in BSB.