Eugene Laverty To Race A Ducati Panigale V4R With Team GoEleven In 2019

There have been some major shake ups on the WorldSBK grid for 2019, leaving some big-name riders without a ride. Today, one of those big names found a home. The Go Eleven Team announced they had signed Eugene Laverty to race a Ducati Panigale V4R in the WorldSBK championship for the 2019 season.

That Laverty should return to a Ducati is hardly a surprise. The Irishman has maintained close links to the Italian factory, and has always had a good relationship with Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna. Laverty had been linked to other teams considering running Ducatis before finally signing with Go Eleven.

Laverty's arrival means the loss of Ramon Ramos, who has to make way for the Irishman. But the switch from Kawasaki and the promise of support from Ducati, coupled with Laverty's proven potential as a WorldSBK race winner made it an easy choice. 

Laverty's signing sees one big name return to the grid, but others remain without a seat. Xavi Fores found a seat in the British BSB Superbike championship, but Jordi Torres and Loris Baz remain unsigned. More announcements are expected in the coming weeks, as the WorldSBK teams finalize their plans.

Below is the press release from the Go Eleven team:

Go Eleven with Eugene Laverty and Ducati in the World SBK!

With great enthusiasm Go Eleven announces the partnership with Ducati Corse and Eugene Laverty for the 2019 World Superbike Championship!

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2018 Jerez Moto2 Test Friday Times: Baldassarri Fastest, Martin Breaks Bones In Debut Triumph Test

Friday saw the birth of two new eras in Grand Prix racing: the start of the MotoE class, and the first official test with the Triumph Moto2 engine managed with Magneti Marelli electronics. The Triumph 765 triples introduce a very different sound into the paddock to the four-cylinder Honda CBR600RR engines they replaced, and have a very different character. 

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2018 Jerez MotoE Test Friday Times: Tuuli Fastest In MotoE Debut

MotoE made its debut at Jerez on Friday, the electric bikes taking to the track in earnest for the first time. Feedback from the riders if very positive, Bradley Smith telling us, "It feels like a race bike". Track conditions were tricky, with a half-wet, half dry session early in the afternoon, and a fully dry session at the end of the afternoon, so times do not mean too much at the moment. There is a lot of setup work still to be done.


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Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Márquez is the man with no off switch

The Spaniard has won all three titles in MotoGP’s new era of make-it-up-as-you-go-along riding technique. Next comes MotoGP’s Senna/Prost moment

No motorcycle racer is unbeatable. Mick Doohan ruled the 1990s with an iron fist, dominating five consecutive 500cc world championships and leaving everyone waking up on Sunday mornings wondering who would finish second. Then, in a millisecond, his reign was over when he momentarily strayed onto a damp white line at Jerez in May 1999.

Marc Márquez isn’t unbeatable. Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi and others have already proved that. But, right now, he is about as invincible as it gets.

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2018 Valencia MotoGP Test Wednesday Round Up: New Engines, New Chassis, KTM's Front End Problems, And A Vintage Rookie Class

It's been a difficult test at Valencia. The weather simply hasn't played ball. Tuesday started wet, took a few hours to dry out, then rain started falling around 3pm, meaning the riders effectively had around two and a half usable hours on track. Rain on Tuesday evening meant the track was wet on Wednesday morning, and in the chill of a November morning, it took a couple of hours before the track dried out enough for the riders to hit the track.

At least it stayed dry and sunny throughout the day, and the last couple of hours saw the best conditions of the test, times dropping until falling temperatures put paid to any thought of improvement. The teams may have lost time, but at least they had a solid four and a half hours of track time to work.

For half the factories, what they were focusing on was engines. Yamaha, Honda, and Suzuki all brought new engines to test, and in the case of Yamaha and Honda, two different specs. Ducati was mainly working with a new chassis, aimed at making the bike turn better. Aprilia had a new engine and a new frame to try. And as usual, KTM had a mountain of parts and ideas to test.

Choices, choices

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2018 Valencia MotoGP Test Times Wednesday 3:30pm: Dovizioso Takes Over As Time Attack Starts

With the sun out, the warmest part of the day, and the track in the best condition it has been throughout the test, the riders are now chasing quick times. Andrea Dovizioso is currently fastest, a tenth faster than Marc Marquez, who has been spending time on a second prototype. Danilo Petrucci is third fastest, ahead of the factory Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales.

Times at 3:30pm:

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2018 Valencia MotoGP Test Times Wednesday 2:30pm - Marquez Leads The Ducatis

It was another late start at Valencia, as rain yesterday afternoon and evening meant the track took a long time to dry, testing only getting underway in earnest around 12:30pm. The track has been busy since then, the teams and factories making up for time lost to the rain on Tuesday. 

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2018 Valencia MotoGP Test Tuesday Round Up: The Importance Of Testing, Yamaha Engines, Lorenzo Lags, Italians Impress, Ducati Improves

If you want to see the law of unintended consequences in action, just take a look at MotoGP testing. The nature of testing has changed as manufacturers have suffered the consequences of not fully understanding the effects of the engine development freeze during the season. Honda suffered, Suzuki suffered, and now Yamaha have suffered when they made the wrong choice of engine in preseason testing. They learned the hard way they had to get it right.

This has meant that the Valencia MotoGP test has become first and foremost about getting the engine in the right ballpark, giving the engineers enough data to work out the fine details over the winter. A tight track and cold air temperatures sees engines at their most aggressive, with plenty of horsepower on hand and very little room on track to actually use it. The addition of Jerez as an official winter test – to be held at the end of next week – makes this even more explicitly an engine test. If the factories bring an engine which is manageable at both Valencia and Jerez, they are in good shape for next season.

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2018 Valencia MotoGP Test Times Tuesday Final: Viñales Tops Timesheets With New Engine

Maverick Viñales has ended the first day of the Valencia test as the fastest rider, as most of the factories focus on engines. Viñales and Rossi both tried one step of the 2019 engine, and both were satisfied with progress made, Viñales finishing fastest and Rossi third.

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