Eugene Laverty says he 'jumped at the chance' to make the move into MotoGP when Aspar Honda made an offer to sign him for the 2015 season.
The Irishman was officially confirmed as making the move to Aspar Honda
for MotoGP 2015 earlier in the week, Laverty sealing a deal to ride the manufacturer's Open class machine having been linked to a number of rides in the premier class in recent weeks.
Set to mark his debut in the MotoGP class having notched up 13 wins during his four seasons of WSBK racing, Laverty says it was reassuring to be approached again by Aspar after a relatively tough season of racing.
“I had been speaking with Aspar at the end of last year when I was considering moving into MotoGP but it didn't materialise in the end, so it was nice that after a fairly tough year that they still knew I could ride a bike,” he told Crash.net
. “I have been interested to go to MotoGP for a while with a good team like Aspar, so I jumped at the chance.”
Expected to be partnered with Nicky Hayden – though this remains unconfirmed for the time being – and go up against a fellow Open Honda rookie in Moto3 graduate Jack Miller, Laverty says these will provide the ideal reference for his performances in 2015.
“I'll have two guys to gauge myself against. Nicky Hayden, if he is confirmed, will be a good reference and I'd like to have him as a team-mate because he is a well-respected guy, then there is Jack Miller, who will also be a rookie.
“I think it is difficult to make any calls at this stage, but we know the bikes can be strong in qualifying as we have seen this year. I am always more of a racer, so if I can qualify well then I can hopefully get in the mix.”
Indeed, Laverty says the chance to test Suzuki's developing MotoGP machine earlier in the year gave him the motivation to chase a ride in the series for next season, remarking that his riding style suits a more honed racing bike.
“I tried the Suzuki MotoGP bike earlier this year and I was gobsmacked at how quickly I adapted to the bike. I did three hours on the bike in Japan and my lap times were around 1.5secs faster than my goal was. The tyres suited me, the bike suited, so it was part of the reason why I was so keen to go to MotoGP once I had had a taste of it. It works with my riding style.”
Laverty is expected to make his debut on the Aspar Honda during the traditional tests straight after the 2014 MotoGP season-ending Valencia Grand Prix.