Eugene Laverty says he is confident he can challenge for podiums in the remaining World Superbike Championship races, starting with this weekend's tenth round of the season at the Nurburgring.

The Irishman notched up podiums three and four of the season with a brace of second place finishes last time out at Silverstone, results that consolidated what is now a fairly lonely fourth in the overall standings.

Indeed, though Yamaha WSBK team-mate Marco Melandri is a substantial 66 points ahead in the standings, Laverty is determined to stay in the hunt for rostrums in case he gets an opportunity to challenge.

"I've been off the bike for a long time now and I can't wait to get riding my R1 again," he said. "Nurburgring is a track I quite like and I've good memories there following my win in Supersport last year. I've just come from a double podium in Silverstone and that's what I'm aiming for again at the Nurburgring.

"It's not out of the question to complete the season in the top three and that's what I'd like and what I'll be aiming for, even though it won't be easy to reach my team-mate."

Laverty is currently 50 points ahead of fifth place rider Leon Haslam.

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