Eugene Laverty

Laverty, Portuguse WSBK Test October 18 2011
Birth Date: 
2 June, 1986
Driver Status: 

Eugene Laverty Biography

As one-third of a motorcycling dynasty that includes British Superbike favourites Michael and John, Eugene Laverty is emerging as the most successful sibling following his star turns at World Superbike and World Supersport level.

Choosing to race under the Irish flag unlike his brothers, who are classified as British -, Laverty has put aside a difficult foray into grand prix racing to re-establish himself as a formidable force on a Superbike, and with a new home at former champion’s Aprilia beckoning, is now considered a hot tip for a title challenge.

Beginning his motorcycling endeavour in 2001 with a stint in the Irish Young Guns Series, where he proceeds to finish third, Laverty steps up to the British 125GP Championship in 2002 and marks his arrival with a podium on home soil at Mondello Park.

Improving to seventh overall in 2003 following a maiden win at Oulton Park, Laverty’s third season in 2004 sees him claim four victories, though he would fall just short of the title won by Michael Wilcox.

Nonetheless, his performance is enough to capture the attention of Red Bull, who duly promotes him to its British Supersport Championship team. A positive adaptation to the 600cc Honda helps Laverty to a maiden podium finish at Donington Park and ninth in the standings, prompting Red Bull to retain him for 2006.

A season of ups and downs for Laverty would follow, his four wins at Thruxton, Oulton Park, Snetterton and Cadwell Park putting him almost on a par with key rival Cal Crutchlow. In fact, Laverty is on the podium in every race that he finishes, but costly DNFs in five events prevent him from getting close to the Briton, consigning Laverty to third behind Tom Sykes also.

A switch to the international stage beckons for 2007, Laverty accepting a deal to race the LCR Honda in the 250GP World Championship. With unfamiliar circuits and the less favourable Honda at his disposal, Laverty struggles to progress beyond the mid-field, but is able to crack the points on four occasions.

Deciding to remain in the 250GP series, Laverty moves to Blusens Aprilia for 2008, but riding machinery that can trace its roots back to before the start of the millennium, he is unable to move further up the field.

Despite this, a career lifeline is presented by Paul Bird, who offers Laverty a wild-card to ride the Vent-Axia Honda during the Brands Hatch World Superbike round. However, sponsorship issues at Blusens scupper his hopes and Laverty is forced to turn down the opportunity.

Less than a month later, however, Laverty receives another tempting offer, this time in the World Supersport Championship, with a last-minute call-up to replace the injured Fabien Foret at Yamaha for Donington Park. With little preparation, Laverty still scores points in 12th and is retained for a second outing at Vallelunga.

Carrying foot injuries following a crash during his 250GP outing at Indianapolis, Laverty nonetheless stars around the Italian circuit, embarking on a race-long battle for the podium with reputed WSS winners Andrew Pitt and Broc Parkes, eventually securing third place at the chequered flag.

Opting to surrender his 250GP ride in an effort to secure a full-time WSS deal, Laverty is eventually snapped up by the PTR-prepared Parkalgar Honda team for 2009.

Though faced with some accomplished competition, Laverty quickly emerges as a title contender, claiming a maiden WSS victory for both himself and the team at Losail, before following that up with further victories at Assen, Kyalami and Portimao. Battling throughout the year with former BSS rival Crutchlow, Laverty loses out on the title, but retains a fine second place in the standings, ahead of former champions Kenan Sofuoglu, Fabien Foret and Pitt.

Deciding to stay in WSS for a renewed shot at the 2010 title, Laverty begins the season as the clear favourite, kicking off his campaign in style with victory in round one. Lacklustre results in Portugal and Valencia would see Sofuoglu and Joan Lascorz nudge ahead three rounds in, but consecutive wins at Assen, Monza and Kyalami would get him back on a par with his rivals.

Indeed, Laverty was on mighty form at times in 2010, winning a total of eight races to equal the record for most victories in a season. However, despite having the edge on wins, with Sofuoglu claiming three victories himself and finishing on the podium in every other race, Laverty’s sole DNF due to mechanical failure - at Brno would prove crucially detrimental.

In the end, Laverty would fall 11 points short of the title, forcing him into the runners-up spot once again. Despite this, Laverty’s immediate future had nonetheless already been decided having been announced as stepping up to the World Superbike Championship with the factory Yamaha team.

Paired with MotoGP race winner Marco Melandri, Laverty went into the season expecting a steep learning curve, but would swiftly belie his rookie tag by leading the very first lap of 2011 at Phillip Island.

Solid results in the opening rounds gave way to an extraordinary weekend at Monza, Laverty claiming a stunning double victory after resisting home favourite Max Biaggi in race one and passing Melandri on the final bend of race two.

Assuring his status as a front runner, though Laverty took another nine races to make the podium at Silverstone -, he was rarely outside the top five in 2011. In the end, Laverty would finish his first season of Superbike racing fourth overall with two wins, six podiums, 18 top five finishes and also seven front row starts.

Even so, his and Melandri’s strong results would not be enough to prevent Yamaha from announcing a shock withdrawal from the series, leaving Laverty who had signed a two-year deal -, without a ride for 2012.

Initially linked with a move to BMW, Laverty will instead join Biaggi at Aprilia Racing for the 2012 season and has already made a significant impression during testing. With Checa contending with a heavier Ducati in 2012, Melandri switching to BMW and Biaggi on the same bike as himself, Laverty has every chance to progress to title contender this season.

Career Highlights:

2012: In the wake of Yamaha’s withdrawal, Laverty signs with the factory Aprilia team

2011: World Supersport Championship, Yamaha SBK, 4th (2 wins)

2010: World Supersport Championship, Parkalgar Honda, 2nd (8 wins)

2009: World Supersport Championship, Parkalgar Honda, 2nd (4 wins)

2008: 250cc World Championship, Blusens Aprilia, 21st

World Supersport Championship (2 races), Yamaha SSP, 21st

2007: 250cc World Championship, LCR Honda, 25th

2006: British Supersport Championship, Red Bull Honda, 3rd (4 wins)

2005: British Supersport Championship, Red Bull Honda, 9th

2004: 125cc British Championship, 2nd (4 wins)

2003: 125cc British Championship, 7th (1 win)

2002: 125cc British Championship