News 25 Aug 2016

Laverty returning to WorldSBK with Milwaukee Aprilia

Latest signing casts Brookes' future into jeopardy.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

The Milwaukee-backed Shaun Muir Racing team will take charge of Aprilia’s factory Superbike World Championship team for 2017, signing Eugene Laverty to return to WorldSBK after two seasons in MotoGP.

Former WorldSBK runner-up Laverty will be reunited with the factory Aprilia entry, as the Milwaukee team switches from BMW machinery for its second season in the world championship next year.

“I am excited to return to World Superbike with Aprilia,” said Laverty. “I’ve had a lot of success there, it was a great period. During my two years in MotoGP I have learned a lot, there’s been some difficult times, of course, but I have improved a lot as a rider and I’m looking forward to this next stage in my career.

“I’m very motivated because for the last two years it has been a different kind of fight – I’ve been in the middle of the field, trying to improve. So to go back with a factory Aprilia and the chance to win races and fight for a world title is a different mindset and one I am really prepared for.

“Next year is going to be very exciting. There are a lot of strong riders now and there will be even more next year. It is going to be very competitive. For sure, Jonathan Rea is world champion and is leading the title chase again now, so he is going to be difficult to beat, but a lot of guys are motivated to chase him down. I’m returning with one objective – to be world champion.”

It’s expected that Italian Lorenzo Savadori will remain with Aprilia to partner Laverty on the factory team, leaving Australia’s Josh Brookes – who won his British title with SMR in 2015 – and Karel Abraham to find new seats for 2017.