Further to our earlier article, Monstermob Ducati have contacted Crash.net to clarify the situation regarding Michael Laverty's signing for the 2004 season - the Ulsterman was announced at TAS Suzuki three-weeks ago, but has now been confirmed with Paul Bird's Supersport outfit.

Monstermob were keen to point out that neither they, nor Laverty (lower pic), had broken any existing contracts - and that the 22-year-old hadn't actually signed a binding deal to ride for TAS, despite their announcement.

"The fact of the matter is that Michael had only signed a letter of intent (with TAS) and the TAS Suzuki press office were very premature, not to say presumptuous, in announcing that he had officially signed an official contract with them," said Monstermob's press and PR manager Larry Carter.

Regarding the exit of the team's 2002 champion, Stuart Easton (top picture), Carter explained that rather than being dropped by Bird - as widely rumoured - it was the Scot who turned down a new deal.

"Stuart was offered a contract in preference to Michael and (despite what has been said and written) he effectively declined it," stated Carter. "(Easton) too had signed a letter of intent with Paul prior but, unlike TAS, we chose not to reveal anything until such time as a legally binding contract was signed by both rider and team."

Monstermob's new Superbike signing, to replace 2003 champion Shane Byrne, will be announced in the next few weeks.



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