After taking his and the Parkalgar Honda team's debut World Supersport victory last time out in Qatar, Eugene Laverty is aiming for a 'solid result' at this weekend's Valencia round - as attention turns to mounting a season long title attack.
The Irishman's knife-edge victory over reigning champion Andrew Pitt has put him third in the championship standings, just two points from round one winner Kenan Sofuoglu and only four points from Pitt.
The other early season title contender, Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow, is seven points behind Laverty after finishing third at Qatar.
“I am looking to back-up my win with a solid result at Valencia. I am aiming for the podium and a win would be a bonus,” stated Laverty, who knows Valencia well from his 250GP competition. “The important thing is that I am mixing it with Pitt, Sofuoglu and Crutchlow in the race so that the championship remains on target.”
“Eugene showed what he and the Parkalgar Honda are capable of last time out and now he needs to keep the pressure up,” confirmed team manager Simon Buckmaster. “The team scored a podium at Valencia last year [with Craig Jones] and we have good data on the circuit so we will be giving Eugene all the support we can.
“We are focusing on the long haul championship title race now and we need good results at every circuit if we want to be in the reckoning when we come to our home circuit in Portugal in October,” he declared.
Team-mate Miguel Praia is currently just 16th in the championship and aims to break into the top ten this weekend.
“I am very motivated for the Valencia race and have been training hard, I now weigh just 62kgs, the lowest weight I have raced at and the lowest weight I can remember since being a teenager,” he said. “I am fully prepared and I feel me, the bike and my Parkalgar Honda team deserve to be in the top ten, which is the target for me.”