Officially official now, Eugene Laverty will not only switch to riding the Aprilia RSV4 Factory in the next World Superbike season, but the Irishman will also be Max Biaggi’s teammate in the factory Aprilia squad. Now displacing Leon Camier, Laverty had been signed earlier this month by the Italian factory, but there was uncertainty regarding whether the former-Yamaha rider would enter the factory team or the satellite PATA Racing squad. That speculation of course has been ended by Aprilia’s announcement, though it raises some other worthy questions.
On the most basic of levels, the pairing bodes well for Aprilia, as Laverty was the fastest rider at the post-season Portimao test. Riding Max Biaggi’s own factory-spec RSV4, there is strong suspicion that Laverty’s performance at the test helped decide his fate for the 2012 season. The interesting dynamic however will be how Laverty meshs with teammate Biaggi.
Unable to defend his Championship most of the season because of a broken foot, Biaggi is surely keen to reclaim his status in the WSBK paddock. With Laverty now a strong candidate to rival Biaggi for the 2012 title, showing his promise on the Emperor’s own bike no less, we can only imagine that some ripples would exist in the team pit box. Biaggi has been known not to play well with others, and the question regarding who is the #1 rider in the Aprilia camp could be an argument up for contention.
Source: MotoMatters; Photo: WorldSBK