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World Superbike rider Eugene Laverty switches to MotoGP for 2015

Eugene Laverty will switch from the World Superbike Championship to MotoGP with Aspar for 2015

The 28-year-old from Northern Ireland was WSBK runner-up for Aprilia last season before moving to Crescent Suzuki this year, and he has visited several MotoGP events this year as he chased a ride in the grand prix category.

"I am very excited to take on this new challenge," said Laverty, who spent two seasons in the 250cc grand prix class in 2007/08.

"My greatest wish was to compete in MotoGP and finally it will be granted thanks to the Aspar team.

"I have had to wait quite a long time but finally the chance is here and my dream has become a reality.

"I learned a lot the last time I was in the MotoGP paddock, but I was very young back then and I didn't have the right material to succeed."

Laverty is set to replace Hiroshi Aoyama in Aspar's customer Honda line-up, with Nicky Hayden having an ongoing contract - although the American's lay-off for major wrist surgery this summer did trigger some speculation about his longer-term future.

Team boss Jorge Martinez Aspar said Laverty had been in his sights for some time.

"Eugene Laverty is a rider we were already in contact with last year," he said.

"We tried to sign him then and even though we didn't manage it at the time he is a rider we have been interested in for a long time.

"I think he is a rider with great potential. He has produced some incredible races in Supersport and Superbikes, and he has a lot of wins on his record with a lot of different manufacturers, which says a lot about his capacity to adapt.

"Maybe he hasn't had the luck that you always need to win a world title but I am sure that he will be giving 100 per cent to the Aspar team.

"Next year we will have a new, more competitive Honda, and I have a lot of hope invested in our MotoGP project."

Laverty's brother Michael has spent the last two seasons in MotoGP with the Paul Bird Motorsport team, which is set to exit the series at the end of 2014.

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