Eugene Laverty believes Aprilia have made the right choice in signing Sylvain Guintoli for the 2013 World Superbike Championship.
Laverty is looking ahead to his second season in the factory Aprilia team and feels he will benefit from sharing a garage with Guintoli next year, who replaces retired world champion and Italian hero Max Biaggi.
“I believe Gigi Dall'Igna has made a good choice,” said the Northern Irishman.
“I get on with Sylvain and rate him as a rider so it'll be nice to share a garage with a top rider once again.
“Some riders feel threatened by a fast teammate but I look at it in a positive light.
"Even in Jerez
we were able to spot weaknesses in our riding by overlaying our laps and comparing them corner by corner,” added Laverty, who topped the times at the final test of the year on the RSV4.
“I know of a rider that requested a ban on data sharing with his teammate last year when he felt he had the upper hand but then he came back begging once his teammate started beating him again!
“And before you jump to conclusions it wasn't inside the Aprilia garage but another factory team,” Laverty pointed out in his latest official blog.
“The way I see it everything to my advantage; there's 20 other riders I've got to beat and not just the one guy sat opposite me.”
Laverty expects to mount a much stronger challenge for championship honours in 2013 following a satisfactory debut season on the Aprilia.
“I'm looking forward to starting the 2013 season strong now that I'm in my second year on the RSV4.
“In 2010 I put together a fantastic season in the World Supersport Championship as I had the benefit of remaining with the Parkalgar team for a second successive season,” he said.
“I'm in a similar position once again with the factory Aprilia team and I feel that I understand the bike much better than I did at this point last year.
“The World Superbike Championship is so competitive now that to win a championship in your first year with a manufacturer would be an incredible feat.
“The Aprilia has been going from strength to strength ever since we turned a corner in the midseason at Aragon,” he said.
“Tom Sykes was looking good at Jerez
too so I expect him to start the season strong down under in Phillip Island.”
Laverty, who finished sixth in the championship overall and notched six rostrum finishes, claimed his first victory for Aprilia at Portimao in Portugal.