Factory Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty admits the burden of finalising his plans for 2014 is additional pressure he could do without as the Northern Ireland star continues to battle for the World Superbike crown.
Laverty has forced his way into title contention on the works RSV4, following up a dominant double at Istanbul Park in Turkey with a rostrum finish and dramatic victory at Laguna Seca in the USA on Sunday to slash Kawasaki star Tom Sykes’ championship advantage to 23 points.
The 27-year-old told News Letter Sport on Tuesday he is still in talks with Aprilia and Ducati over a switch to the MotoGP class next year.
Laverty hopes he can put pen to paper on a new deal before the final World Superbike race at Jerez in Spain on October 20 as he bids to become the country’s first world champion since Joey Dunlop in 1986.
Italian manufacturer Aprilia has told Laverty he is surplus to requirements in its official WSBK team, with ex-MotoGP ace Marco Melandri lined up as his replacement.
However, the Toome man is holding talks with Aprilia about a switch to MotoGP alongside American Nicky Hayden and is also speaking with Pramac Ducati.
“At the minute I’m talking with Aprilia and another manufacturer about MotoGP as well,” Laverty said.
“Hopefully I can get it sorted out in the new few weeks because it’s extra pressure on my shoulders never mind trying to fight for a world championship when I don’t have a job for next year.”
Laverty has moved into second place in the World Superbike Championship and is the clear form man having won three of the last four races, but even if he managed to clinch the title for Aprilia, Laverty doesn’t expect his options to change.
“I don’t think it would have any effect really on our plans,” he added.
The former 250cc Grand Prix rider produced a tenacious performance at the iconic Laguna Seca circuit, finishing third in race one before clinching a dramatic win in the closing stages of race two to grab all 25 points.
“For the championship it was crucial and maybe if it had been earlier in the season I’d have settled for where I was at, but I needed those points,” Laverty said.
The penultimate race takes place at Magny-Cours in France this weekend.