Crescent Suzuki team boss Paul Denning didn’t have to think twice when he received the call informing him that Eugene Laverty was available for the 2014 World Superbike Championship.
The Northern Ireland star won nine races on his way to finishing as the series runner-up last year on the factory Aprilia and for Denning it was a simple decision to acquire the 27-year-old’s services, albeit at the expense of British rider Leon Camier, who found himself out in the cold.
Denning had already moved to sign MCE British Superbike champion Alex Lowes and once Laverty made a commitment to the team, Crescent Suzuki’s exciting two-man line-up was swiftly finalised.
“We’d been speaking to Eugene for a good couple of months but to be honest it required more than just a lot of tenacity and effort to secure his commitment, it also required a decent dose of luck and maybe some other teams and manufacturers being a little less consistent and focused in their efforts,” Denning said.
“It was a huge positive when I got a call saying ‘great let’s do this, no further discussion required, I’m happy to ride a Suzuki in the 2014 championship’, but it was rather late in the process and it meant that we weren’t able to go ahead with Leon, which was unexpected on both sides.
“But we are here to do our best as a team, for Suzuki, for every sponsor and for every individual who has put so much effort in over the years, so when you have the opportunity to sign a rider who’s just narrowly missed out on winning the championship, has won nine races and finished on the podium 19 times in the season, there is simply no choice but to make it happen,” he added.
“It’s a privilege to have two such fantastic riders on the team; we are already enjoying working together and despite the weight of expectation and pressure... we’re looking forward to it.”
Laverty - who is one of the favourites along with Michael Dunlop to be crowned the Adelaide Irish Motorcyclist of the Year in Belfast on Friday - and Lowes commenced pre-season testing on Thursday at Almeria in Spain.