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WSBK Rider of the Year vote: 7th

You voted in your thousands, but there can only be one winner... This is Crash.net's top ten countdown to the 2012 World Superbike Rider of the Year as voted for by you!
7. Eugene Laverty

Nationality: Irish
Team: Aprilia Racing
Bike: Aprilia RSV4
Wins: 1
Podiums: 6
Championship points: 263.5
Championship position: 6th

There was certainly a buzz of excitement when Eugene Laverty was announced as a factory Aprilia rider for 2012, even more so when the Irishman proved immediately fast during post-season testing.

At that stage the new season seemed so far away, but it didn't stop many counting Laverty amongst the title favourites for 2012, particularly in the wake of a fantastic maiden year with Yamaha.

With the 2012 season done and dusted, there is an unyielding sense that Laverty on the RSV4 didn't quite live up to expectations – a feeling the man himself agrees with -, though it is tempered by the impression things are looking up for next year…

In essence, Laverty didn't have a poor season - he was rarely outside the top eight come the chequered flag. However, in a year that saw more front runners than ever, nine race winners and 15 podium winners, Laverty wasn't capturing enough headlines.

Not that it was all Laverty's own doing, his claims that the bike had a fundamental mechanical issue seemingly falling on deaf ears at Aprilia for several rounds. Eventually, the 'issue' was discovered and cured, and from that point (Aragon onwards) a vindicated Laverty saw an upsurge in performance.

Such was the improvement in his pace, he ended the season with four more podiums (six in total), a long-awaited race win at Portimao and bragging rights that he actually out-scored title challenging team-mate Max Biaggi during the second-half of the year.

Indeed, another couple of races and Laverty would have likely been celebrating fourth in the standings again, but instead he has settled with sixth on the 2012 leaderboard and seventh in your poll.

With Biaggi hanging up his leathers, Laverty becomes a greater focus for Aprilia in 2013, a closer relationship that can only assist the 26-year-old on a renewed title quest.

After all, it's easy to forget this three-time race winner has only raced Superbikes for two years…

Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2011: 2nd
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2010: N/A
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2009: N/A
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2008: N/A

Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2012:

8. Carlos Checa
9. Loris Baz
10. Leon Camier

Do you agree the poll results? If not, why not? Leave your comments below...


Tagged as: Aprilia , Eugene Laverty

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Laverty, Jerez tests November 2012
Laverty, Jerez tests November 2012
Laverty, Jerez tests November 2012
Laverty, Jerez tests November 2012
Laverty, Jerez tests November 2012
Laverty, Braking, French WSBK 2012
Andrea Petricca, Red Devils Aprilia team boss, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Eugene Laverty, Qatar WSBK race2 2014
Eugene Laverty, Qatar WSBK race2 2014
Eugene Laverty, Qatar WSBK race 1 2014
Eugene Laverty, Qatar WSBK race1 2014
Eugene Laverty, Qatar WSBK race1 2014
Eugene Laverty, Qatar WSBK race1 2014
Eugene Laverty, Qatar WSBK race1 2014
Eugene Laverty, Qatar WSBK race1 2014
Eugene Laverty, Qatar WSBK race2 2014
Eugene Laverty, Qatar WSBK race1 2014
Eugene Laverty, Qatar WSBK race1 2014

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Ellis - Unregistered

December 24, 2012 4:19 PM

Really don't understand some people on here. Ducati should make a 4clyinder or not compete, why? This is production bike racing, not MotoGP. It's up to the rule makers to put rules in place so that each superbike can run in the championship. Saying only 4's is just like somebody saying only twins or triples, so then Yamaha will not be allowed to race with there new triple r1. I want them all there because I love racing.



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