Eugene Laverty will start testing the new Ducati Panigale V4 R in January with the Go Eleven World Superbike squad, as Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall’Igna confirms the details of the deal are being finalised.

Laverty secured an 11th-hour deal to remain on the World Superbike grid for 2019 with the Go Eleven squad who will switch to running the new Ducati Panigale V4 R next year.

The Irish rider has missed the opening two World Superbike winter tests at Aragon and Jerez with the team deal being finalised and will commence testing in January.

Ducati boss Dall’Igna described Laverty as “more than a rider” and is delighted to see him return to riding a Ducati having been axed as part of Shaun Muir Racing’s switch to take up the factory BMW squad for 2019 with Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger.

Dall’Igna confirmed the final details of the team set-up are being agreed, with the squad unlikely to have a Ducati engineer working solely for the team, but is confident a situation can be found to suit all parties.

“Eugene is more than a rider, he is a friend for me, so I am really happy to see him on the Ducati,” Dall’Igna said at Jerez. “Now it is undefined as we don’t have a clear situation. For sure they will use a Ducati bike but the negotiation between how we can do it and what the team has to do that’s in progress.

“It is quite late to an engineer at the team. That’s the main problem I have at the moment and I would like to try to solve it but it is not easy.”

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Laverty is already relishing his first outing on the Ducati V4 R having kept a close eye on the progress of the factory squad at the Jerez test.

“It will be a long wait until I get to try the new Ducati V4 R but the lap times of Chaz and Alvaro yesterday made me smile,” Laverty said. “Both are well and truly on the pace and it excites me knowing that one of those two bikes will be wheeled into our garage come January.”

Laverty spent the past two seasons with Milwaukee Aprilia in his World Superbike return after leaving the Aspar Ducati squad in MotoGP in 2016.

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