It is no secret that Eugene Laverty is keen to move to MotoGP for the 2015 season. The Irishman has been present at the last three MotoGP rounds, touting his services around the teams in the hope of securing a ride. He has been in talks with Forward, Pramac and Aspar about a ride in 2015, but as yet, no deal has been announced.
It is certain that one has been signed, however. Today, the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team - his team in World Superbikes - issued a press release wishing Laverty well on his step up to MotoGP. No details were given of where Laverty is headed, other than that he will not be in World Superbikes in 2015, but will be racing in MotoGP.
Though no announcement was made, it seems certain that Laverty will be riding a production Honda for Aspar in 2015. A deal had to wait until Scott Redding's future had been secured, as Redding was Aspar's preferred choice, despite never having spoken to either the Gloucestershire rider or his manager. Once Redding was confirmed as riding with Marc VDS in MotoGP next season, that cleared the way for Laverty.
Laverty faced a second problem at Aspar. The Spanish team had also signed a proposal with Loris Baz, stating that if Redding didn't sign with the team by 15th September, then Baz would get the ride on the production Honda. For the past week, however, Aspar have been struggling to get out of that contract, claiming that Baz (at 1.92m) is "too tall" for a MotoGP bike. With Baz now seemingly out of the frame, that clears the way for Laverty, who had a similar agreement with Aspar. Nicky Hayden has a contract with Aspar for 2015, but the American is yet to return to action after wrist surgery. Hayden is set to return at Aragon, but no confirmation that he actually will has been forthcoming yet.
Below is the press release from the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki WSBK team:
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki wishes Laverty well on his way to MotoGP™
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki extends its thanks and best wishes to Eugene Laverty as he prepares to move to the MotoGP Championship for the 2015 season.
A motivated and technically accomplished racer, Laverty has so far added two podiums to his Superbike tally this year taking his achievement to 33 to date - including a dramatic win on board his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R in the season opener at Phillip Island – and remains focused in his objective to remount the rostrum before the year draws to a close.
The Irishman will relocate from the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at the end of the 2014 season after six successful years in the production class paddock in both World Supersport and World Superbike competition.
“I’d like to thank everyone at Voltcom Crescent Suzuki for all their efforts this season. They’re an incredibly hard working team and we share the same desire to win. We started the year fantastically with a win first time out at Phillip Island, something nobody expected us to do. Even if the results haven't always come our way, I've really enjoyed working with the team and the GSX-R, there is so much potential there. We still have two rounds remaining and my aim is to climb back up on that rostrum before I move to MotoGP in 2015.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“We wanted to move forward with Eugene into 2015 but at the same time we completely understand his desire to compete in MotoGP. He has been a pleasure to work with and, even though a black cloud of bad luck seems to have followed us and the consistency of results has not been what we both hoped for, Eugene has given us and Suzuki some very special moments including of course the victory at Phillip Island.
“It is positive to see a skilful, intelligent Superbike rider’s abilities recognised by a strong MotoGP team and all at Crescent, title partner Voltcom and Suzuki wish Eugene the very best of luck in this next stage of his career. We are looking forward to the last two rounds together; let’s hope we can finish this season with Eugene as strongly as we started!
“Voltcom Crescent Suzuki is committed to building on 2014’s potential shown in 2015, and to fighting for victories in the World Superbike Championship. Our rider line-up to allow us to achieve those targets will be announced in the near future.”