Eugene Laverty is ready to blow off the winter cobwebs as the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki rider begins pre-season testing at Almeria in Spain this week.

Laverty, who won nine races in 2013 for Aprilia on his way to the runner-up position in the World Superbike Championship behind Tom Sykes, and new team-mate Alex Lowes will complete a two-day test at the circuit on Thursday and Friday before moving on to Portimao in Portugal.

The 27-year-old rode the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000 for the first time at Jerez in November and has set himself a goal of running at the 'sharp end'.

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"The winter break was welcome following a hectic 2013 season, but now I'm itching to get going again," said Laverty.

"We had a quite tough debut test in November and so our aim at the upcoming tests is to be nearer the sharp end.

"My focus will be on improving our electronics package, traction control in particular. We'll begin in Almeria before moving on to Portimao where we'll face our rivals on a track where I've won during the past two seasons and that should give us an idea of where we're at.

"The team have been working flat out lately and they've done a fantastic job to deliver updates in a short space of time," he added.

"I can't wait to get back to work on track in a few days' time."

The Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team will test at Portimao on Sunday and Monday before returning to the UK to make final preparations for the official WSBK test at Phillip Island ahead of the opening round on February 23.