Eugene Laverty will make a full-time switch to the World Supersport Championship in 2009 after concluding a deal with the Parkalgar Honda team.

Laverty, a former British Supersport frontrunner, has spent the last two seasons struggling with dated machinery in 250GP racing, but will now turn his attentions to WSS next year after joining forces with the Anglo-Portuguese team.

The Northern Irishman comes to Parkalgar with the outstanding reference of a third place finish on only his second WSS outing earlier this season at Vallelunga whilst deputising for the injured Fabien Foret at Yamaha.

Related Articles

However, with the factory backed team choosing Foret and Cal Crutchlow for 2009, Laverty will instead get his chance with the Simon Buckmaster led outfit, who recorded four podiums this year courtesy of the late Craig Jones.

Laverty is delighted with the deal, which he hopes will revive a reputation hurt by his determined, but ultimately disappointing, foray into grand prix racing.

"Racing for Parkalgar Honda is a great opportunity for me," he said. "The Parkalgar Honda team is top notch and that has been proved race after race in the World Supersport Championship this year.

"It prepares a very fast and competitive motorcycle and I can't wait to be racing it. A big plus with Parkalgar Honda is the team is English-based, which means we all speak the same language and come from the same set of islands.

Having already shown his capabilities on a Supersport machine this season, Laverty is confident a winter of testing will see him in with a shout of the title come 2009.

"I think I will be able to compete for the top three in the World Championship - but more than that I am racing to challenge for top honours - exactly the same targets as Parkalgar Honda.

"There are strong riders in the series for 2009 but I think I can run with them all and I have proved it already this year by taking a podium third place as a wild-card rider at the Vallelunga round of the Championship - that has to be my career highlight to date. It also shows me the competition can be beaten.

"I know quite a few of the tracks the series visits but not them all, however, I didn't know Vallelunga and managed a podium on my first visit, so learning tracks will not be an issue.
"I am looking forward to getting back to racing at the front and can't wait to get testing with the team. Thanks to Parkalgar Honda for its faith in me, I will not disappoint."

For team manager Simon Buckmaster, Laverty is a talent he has been watching for some time so he is duly delighted to be inviting him into the team.

"I noticed Eugene in the 2006 British Supersport Championship and I was massively impressed by his speed and talent. I think with the right backing from Parkalgar Honda there is no question he will be a title contender in 2009, it is what we all want and we will leave no stone unturned to make it happen.

"He's already a hit with the technicians and our Portuguese team owners - he speaks well and has a determination that is second to none. Roll on 2009."