2011 World Superbike rookie Eugene Laverty is looking forward to getting back out on his factory Yamaha during this week's official Portimao test.

With just a month to go until the 2011 season gets underway at Phillip Island, Laverty will join the championship's other main protagonists - with the exception of the factory BMW team - for the three-day test at the Portuguese track, starting on Wednesday.

The test will follow a successful previous outing for the Irishman, runner-up in WSS in both 2009 and 2010, who left Phillip Island fastest overall after a three-day test early in December.

"I'm excited about getting back on the bike, it's been about six or seven weeks since the Australian test and I'm itching to get out there again," said Laverty.

"One of the big things for me is to have another three days on the Superbike, because my brain still thinks it's in 600cc mode sometimes.

"At the moment I still have to remind myself every time I hop on the bike that it's going to be faster, and I know after a few days the 600 mentality will have all but vanished."

Laverty will use the test to get fully up to speed with his 2011 bike ahead of his rookie season, as well as pit himself against his main rivals.

"We have a few little things to work on with the bike and electronics, but I think it's mainly about just getting on there, riding it and getting up to speed as quickly as I can," said Laverty.

"I left the last test fastest after the three days and of course I would love to be in a similar position on Friday, but being the fastest man doesn't worry me particularly at this point. You can't think about who will ultimately be quickest because you don't know what they're doing or running.

"What I do want is to be consistently up there in the top five at the end of every day. Being at the sharp end over the full three days is what I'm looking for.

"I'm pleased to see there are a lot of riders heading out there because you can really get a good idea of what they're doing and where everyone else is at. It's going to be a very useful test and I'm really looking forward to it."

While Laverty is fired up to get out on track this week, team-mate and former MotoGP star Marco Melandri posted on his Twitter account that it's a case of "fingers crossed" if he will be fit enough to ride after recent shoulder surgery.

On a more positive note, Melandri described the R1's 2011 WSBK race livery as "awesome". The livery is yet to be revealed in public.



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