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Laverty: This is still my learning year

18 May 2011

Eugene Laverty insists there is no extra pressure for him to following directly in the footsteps of Yamaha predecessors Ben Spies and Cal Crutchlow, insisting a MotoGP move will only come when he is ready.

The Irishman is currently riding on a wave of confidence after claiming a stunning World Superbike double last time out at Monza, Laverty lifting himself to fifth in the overall standings and giving his reputation an immense boost.

An achievement made all the more impressive by his status as a Superbike rookie, Laverty insists that relative inexperience on the production machines means he cannot be expected to make such a fast transition to MotoGP, like Spies and Crutchlow.

“My situation is rather different to Ben's and Cal's,” he said. “Both riders had ridden superbikes for a few seasons in domestic championships, and so they were expected to be immediately quick. The team has put absolutely no pressure on me to perform, as this season has been cited as a learning year.

“Naturally that view will shift somewhat after our fantastic double victory at Monza, but there will be times when we're reminded that this is my first season on a superbike. Just look at Donington, for example; I struggled there due to my lack of superbike experience.

“Every rider aspires to compete in MotoGP, and so I hope to move there sometime in the future when I feel ready. I've only just completed my fourth round in the World Superbike Championship, though, so I'd rather not get ahead of myself!”

Reflecting on his Monza triumphs, Laverty admits to getting a 'buzz' watching back his final lap pass on Yamaha team-mate Marco Melandri – so much so, he had to watch an episode of Father Ted to calm him down…

“It really hadn't sunk in. I know that's a much overused expression, but it was genuinely the case for me. I sat in my motorhome with my girlfriend, Pippa, and a few friends and watched the races back over a cup of tea.

“After watching the final lap of race two I was absolutely buzzing, so I put an episode of the Irish sitcom “Father Ted” on TV to try and wind down before bed! The following evening I realized why the whole experience had seemed so bizarre.

“I remembered that I'd had a dream on Thursday night that I'd won both races at Monza, so in a way I'd already gone through all the emotions.”


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