Eugene Laverty says he will attempt to race in the 2012 World Superbike Championship opener at Phillip Island this weekend, but will only know the condition of his fractured hand when he takes part in free practice.

The Irishman suffered the injury set-back when he crashed during pre-season testing at the Australian circuit, just over a week before the opening round at the same venue gets underway.

Nonetheless, intensive therapy since then has raised Laverty's hopes that he will be able to make it to the starting grid for the opening round, even if he won't make any firm predictions until he gets onto the Aprilia RSV4 for free practice on Friday.

"My season has suffered a minor setback following my hand injury in the test last week," Laverty, who is supposed to be making his Aprilia debut this weekend, said. "Fortunately we have had more than a week off the bike which has allowed the hand to improve a huge amount. I have flown my doctor out to Australia to help with my rehabilitation and we have been working constantly on my injury for five hours every day.

"I feel confident that I will be fit to ride but I guess I will have to wait until Friday to find out. Honestly I feel that Carlos Checa and my teammate Max are out of reach unless I am 100% but it won't stop me from trying!"

Laverty joins Aprilia after finishing fourth for Yamaha during his maiden WSBK campaign in 2011.



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