Eugene Laverty has told News Letter Sport he remains intent on fulfilling his dream of competing in MotoGP after committing to another tilt at the World Superbike crown in 2014.
Laverty, who finished as the WSBK runner-up in the factory Aprilia team this season behind Britain’s Tom Sykes, had been in talks over a possible move to the MotoGP World Championship with Pramac Ducati and Aprilia.
However, last night the 27-year-old confirmed he will return to the World Superbike paddock next year, although he stopped short of formally revealing the identity of his new team.
Laverty has been linked to the Fixi Crescent Suzuki outfit and is expected to be unveiled alongside British Superbike champion Alex Lowes before the end of this week, replacing Leon Camier and Frenchman Jules Cluzel.
“The deal isn’t done yet and some people have jumped the gun a little bit,” Laverty said.
“It’s looking good [on a new deal to remain in World Superbikes] but on Friday the story made its way out and it isn’t official. It’s kind of slowed things down a bit as well in getting the deal done too, but I’m hoping to get it finalised in the next few days.
“It’s a bit frustrating that things have slowed down a bit but that’s how it works sometimes,” he added.
“It’s still my aim to go to MotoGP and I’ve always said I only want to go there on a decent bike, so I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed [to be staying in World Superbikes next year] because I didn’t want to be going to MotoGP on a whim with the offers I had. I’m not interested in going there to ride around, I want to be competitive and when I weighed up my options it wasn’t right for me.”
Suzuki has been developing a new MotoGP racer ahead of the Japanese factory’s return to the series in 2015, when Laverty could have an option to make the switch to motorcycling’s premier class.
In the meantime, he still has a burning desire to lift the World Superbike title and could have succeeded on the Aprilia this year had it not been for a string of DNFs in the first part of the season.
“In the second half of the season we did a really good job but lost out earlier on,” said Laverty, who stood on the top step nine times and finished on the rostrum in 19 of the 27 races.
“I wouldn’t say I have unfinished business because we did a great job this year, but it would be nice to win that world championship.
“Against the Kawasaki this year it was going to be an uphill struggle with the advantage they had.”
The former 250cc Grand Prix and World Supersport contender’s place in the official factory Aprilia WSBK outfit has been taken over by Italy’s Marco Melandri.
A late attempt was made by new Aprilia boss Romano Albesiano to retain Laverty on an RSV4 next year, but it appears to have been too little, too late for the Irish star.