Aprilia has seemingly confirmed that Eugene Laverty will not ride for the manufacturer in the 2014 World Superbike Championship, with speculation pointing towards a WSBK-to-MotoGP deal with Suzuki instead.
The Irishman's future has been the topic of speculation in recent weeks, the 2013 WSBK runner-up originally believed to be on his way to MotoGP riding an ART in the newly-rebranded 'Open' (formerly CRT) category under the guidance of Gigi Dall'Igna.
However, Dall'Igna's subsequent departure for rivals Ducati would throw Laverty's plans into disarray, with his place in the official Aprilia Racing team already taken by Marco Melandri.
Though rumours of a ride aboard the Pramac Ducati in MotoGP surfaced over the final WSBK weekend at Jerez, it was suggested that new Aprilia boss Romano Albesiano was attempting to entice Laverty to remain in the fold, possibly under a satellite guise.
However, in a statement officially confirming that Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli will form Aprilia's factory WSBK line-up in 2014, Albesiano suggested Laverty will indeed have no involvement with the manufacturer next season.
“I would also like to thank Eugene Laverty who had a fantastic season astride our RSV4, and I wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”
Instead, Suzuki has, according to several reports, waded into the mix with a deal that would see him riding with Fixi Crescent Racing in World Superbikes in 2014 before switching to the manufacturer's revived MotoGP effort in 2015.
The speculation comes despite Suzuki testing at Jerez last week with Leon Camier and British Superbike Champion Alex Lowes riding the GSX-R1000, with the latter set to partner Laverty in the new-look line-up after also seeing a previous MotoGP deal fall through.
It means Camier is potentially on the look for a new ride, possibly on Aprilia machinery or a return to the British Superbike Championship he dominated in 2009, while Jules Cluzel is tipped to return to Moto2.