3 September 2008
WSS: Eugene Laverty - Q&A, EXCLUSIVE.
He's had a difficult season in 250GP and was forced to give up on a World Superbike seat, but Eugene Laverty finally has something good to look forward to as he embarks on his World Supersport debut this weekend with Yamaha.
Replacing Fabien Foret in the team, Laverty talks to Crash.net about how the deal came about, what he wants to prove and how pleased he is to still be getting such good opportunities...
How did the deal with Yamaha come about?
At Brands Hatch World Superbikes, I was speaking to people about possibilities for next year and Yamaha was one of the teams I was speaking to. But soon afterwards they asked if I was available for the next two rounds. They are using this as an opportunity to try riders for next year as they have one rider injured, so I approached my team and they gave it the go-ahead. It is too hard to turn down a race winning bike in World Supersports.
How pleased are you to be getting the chance to compete on the World Supersport stage?
After the two years that I have had, it is nice to get an opportunity like this. Yamaha don't owe me anything, so this is a great chance they have given me. There are other guys they could have offered it to, so I am keen to do them proud and show what I am capable of.
Does it help to be racing your first round at Donington Park, effectively your home race?
It will be nice to race there because I like the circuit. Hopefully I will get one day's testing at another circuit just before I ride at Donington, which will be important to get a feel for the bike before Friday morning. I am determined to put in a good performance there.
What sort of result are you targeting?
I want to be running with the front bunch and challenging for the podium, although it is difficult for me to know. I just have to give it my best shot and I won't be disappointed if I don't manage that, I'd like a good result. I have never raced against those guys and they've been racing all year, so it will be difficult to race against them, but I will see what I can manage.
With Karl Harris proving immediately competitive on the same machine at Brands Hatch, does that fill you with confidence?
It was a really impressive performance by Karl at Brands Hatch, so I will be looking to do something similar. The Yamaha is a good bike and Broc Parkes wasn't too far ahead of Karl, so I'll have to see how I fare alongside him.
Does this make up for the disappointment of not getting chance to compete in the Superbikes?
It does make up for it. That would have been a good opportunity, but I've only ever ridden a Superbike once at Cadwell Park, so it would have been difficult. I haven't ridden the Yamaha before either but I know this is a bike I can challenge up the front with, where as I might not have been able to do that in World Superbikes.
Why weren't you able to assume your Superbike ride, but are now able to compete in Supersports?
The last time I was advised not to go with the Superbikes, because of the sponsors and everything else. It was a difficult one and I didn't know what to do, so when I was advised not to do it I thought better of it and look after my GP opportunities. With Supersports though, I thought I had to do this for myself, so I just went to the main people sorted it out myself
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