Michael Laverty is confident he will again compete in the MotoGP World Championship next season for Paul Bird Motorsport.
Laverty, who made his debut in the class this year, will join Stuart Easton and Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne for a test on Bird’s British Superbike Kawasaki ZX-10R at Cartagena in Spain next week, but the Northern Ireland man says he is “95 per cent certain” of a second stint in the premier Grand Prix class in 2014.
Team owner Bird has been in talks with Aprilia over the possibility of becoming the Italian manufacturer’s official MotoGP representatives next season and Laverty expects his plans to be finalised soon.
“I’m going testing with the BSB team on Monday and Tuesday to Spain and Paul has asked me to go along and get a ride on the Kawasaki because it will give me the chance to get some time on the bike, just in case the MotoGP deal doesn’t come off,” he told the News Letter.
“Paul has said that if I didn’t get a MotoGP ride he would offer me a BSB deal, so at least I won’t be left high and dry. I’ll be with PBM in some shape or form but I’m 95 per cent certain I’ll be in MotoGP again next year, whether that’s on our own PBM bike or the Aprilia.
“I’d be very surprised if we weren’t in MotoGP next year and it’s a matter now of ticking off the final boxes,” Laverty added.
“The PBM bike still has a lot of potential and although we don’t have a clear idea of what we’re doing yet, I can see myself on the PBM chassis with the latest upgrades from Aprilia in terms of the engine and electronics.”
Laverty finished 25th overall in the MotoGP series this year after riding both the PBM racer and the ART bike in the CRT class, earning a best result of 13th at Jerez in Spain.
Meanwhile, Guy Martin will be in Ballymoney this afternoon to launch Stephen Davison’s latest book, Road Racers, at the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre (1pm-4pm).
The Tyco Suzuki star, who bagged a treble at the Ulster Grand Prix, will be on hand to meet fans and sign copies of the book, which will be available for a special price of £15.