WORLD SUPERSPORT contender Eugene Laverty has signed a deal to join Sterilgarda Yamaha for the 2011 World Superbike season.
Laverty currently leads the World Supersport championship by 12 points with two rounds and 50 points remaining. Speaking after signing the deal to join Yamaha, Eugene said: "“It’s great to have a contract signed at this stage while still fighting for the title in the Supersport class. I desperately want to win this year before moving on.”
The 2011 season won't be the first time Laverty has raced in blue, he rode a Yamaha R6 in his World Supersport debut over two races in 2008, replacing the injured Fabien Foret. “When I rode the Yamaha YZF-R6 in World Supersport in 2008 I was having a tough time in 250s, it’s nice that Yamaha brought me to the fore and are now giving me the opportunity within superbike.
Speaking on the Yamaha team and the R1 he will ride next year, Laverty commented: "Ben Spies winning the championship in 2009 and Cal Crutchlow now stepping up and winning races shows the bike and team are more than capable so the rest is up to me. I think with the team support and a good testing schedule we can start the 2011 championship ready to be competitive from the first race and be on the podium as early as possible.
"Having a teammate like Marco Melandri is great, he has a wealth of experience to learn from so I’m going to enjoy riding with him.” continued Laverty.
Following Marco Melandri's departure to World Superbike with Sterilgarda Yamaha, the decision to bring Laverty up from World Supersport forces James Toseland out of the team. The two-time World Superbike champion has been linked with a return to Ten Kate Honda or the British Superbike championship.