After failing to secure Ducati machinery for 2016, Eugene Laverty has decided to call it quits at MotoGP.
So what does the Northern Irishman see when he peers into his crystal ball? A regular 9-to-5? A lifetime of resting on his laurels? Apparently not. Instead, Laverty will be trying his luck and his racing prowess in a whole new arena, the World Superbike Championship. It’s not officially been confirmed which team he’ll join yet, but it’s an open secret that he’ll be an instrumental part of a new Aprilia project with SMR.
— Crash.Net (@CRASH_NET) August 24, 2016
Quite a sea change from his words back in June in Assen, where he revealed that he turned down several interested World Superbike teams in the hopes that he would continue an illustrious career in MotoGP. So set was he on this particular path that he turned down a chance to partner with Jonathan Rea in Kawasaki’s title-winning squad. We’re sorry to say that his confidence in extending his time with MotoGP was not rewarded, as Asper Ducati signed on Alvaro Bautista and effectively put an end to his dreams. The new driver had the privilege of taking on the coveted Desmosedici machinery Laverty had his eye on the entire time. Now ain’t that a kick in the head.
Ultimately, what won him over to the dark side was the machinery.
“I’ve been pondering going back to WorldSBK for a while, including when the Kawasaki seat could have been available, as I have unfinished business there.
“At that time, I was still unsure of what was available in MotoGP, so I didn’t want to jump the gun until I really knew what was on offer here.
“Ultimately, it was the competitiveness of the machinery that tipped the balance for me.”
So much about racing is about testing your limits, pushing the envelope, never saying never. But as Laverty demonstrates, there’s value in realising you’ve done all you could and that you’re giving up a losing battle. We hope all that brand spanking new equipment works out for him.