Eugene Laverty says he is aiming for the ultimate prize of a World Superbike Championship title in 2013 as he prepares for his second season as an Aprilia rider.
Promoted to team leader in place of retired champion Max Biaggi, Laverty and new team-mate Sylvain Guintoli have been charged with defending Aprilia's titles in both the rider and manufacturer standings.
Coming off the back of an encouraging season that yielded a win at Portimao and a flurry of strong results in the latter half of the year, while Laverty admits it is early to start making predictions, he is setting the bar high for himself.
“With a season's experience behind me, I can certainly aim at important results. I prepared well over the winter and during the first tests of the season I worked really hard together with the team on the development of the RSV4.
“It's a bit soon to start talking about goals and rankings, but I have to admit that my intention is to win the World Superbike [title].”
Laverty finished sixth overall in 2012, though he had the distinction of out-scoring eventual champion Biaggi during the second-half of the season. His maiden WSBK season with Yamaha in 2011 yielded two wins and fourth in the standings.