Less than a month after being announced as a TAS Suzuki rider for the 2004 British Supersport championship, young Ulsterman Michael Laverty has now been confirmed at the rival MonsterMob Ducati Supersport team.

"I am absolutely delighted to be riding for the TAS Suzuki team for the 2004 Supersport season, and to get the chance to ride a factory backed GSX-R600 is a dream come true for me," Laverty said on October 31st when he was announced as a Suzuki rider (middle pic). "I rode recently for TAS at the Sunflower Trophy races and loved the whole set up of the team, so I feel that I will fit it very quickly and I'm already looking forward to getting on the bike, which I'm sure will give me a tremendous opportunity to become Champion next season."

However, things move quickly in motorsport and it can only be assumed that Laverty, for some bizarre reason, hadn't signed a binding agreement before the announcement - he has now signed for the crack Monstermob outfit.

"I'm delighted to be joining such a professional team which has such a proven pedigree in the British Championship paddock," said the 22-year-old of his 'second' new team in the space of three weeks. "This will give me the best chance of winning with riding the best bike and on the best tyres and with the best team behind me. It's a fantastic opportunity for me and I'm really excited about it."

Laverty finished fourth aboard a Honda in the 2003 series winning two races including the final round at Donington, will have at his disposal a pair of brand new 749cc Ducates.

Team owner Paul Bird had been keeping tabs on Laverty for much of this season and - after spliting from his 2002 champ Stuart Easton - the Cumbrian businessman offered a deal before flying out to the Macau Grand Prix. Upon his return this week, Laverty had already put pen to paper to finalise the deal.

"Michael has been in our plans for a long time and we have always rated him," said Bird. "We know how he works and what makes him tick and we feel we can give him the best chance to win the title back for us.

"I've been impressed with him sufficiently to offer him a two year deal so that we can continue to the next level as he has proved that he is championship material without doubt. The whole team is very happy that Michael has decided to join us and we are all looking forward to working together," he added.

Bird expects to announce Shane Byrne's replacement for the 2004 British Superbike Championship at a Press Conference within the next two - three weeks.



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