Eugene Laverty Is One of Suzuki's MotoGP XRH-1 Potential Factory Riders

World Superbike rider Eugene Laverty has accepted to test the new Suzuki MotoGP prototype at the Okayama circuit in Japan. Laverty is currently riding a Voltcom Crescent Suzuki bike in the WSBK, and has also turned down a similar invitation coming from Pramac Ducati in the past.
Eugene Laverty 1 photo
Ducati’s offer came before the new MotoGP regulations allowed the factory teams to ride with the perks reserved until then to the Open Class motorcycles, but it looks like Laverty is not angry for missing that opportunity. In fact he believes that the test ride aboard the XRH-1 machinery is a very good chance for him to prove that he is one of the choices Suzuki could make for a contracted rider when they make their comeback to the MotoGP in 2015.

Laverty is also to participate in another test aboard the MotoGP Suzuki machine in June, at Phillip Island. The Australian test is rumored to be a sort of shakedown between Laverty and the factory’s official test rider Randy De Puniet, helping Suzuki determine which of the two has a more lucrative potential as a full-time factory rider in 2015. Even though this is only a supposition, it is known that Suzuki is trying to get the best riders for the 2015 season, and talks with the like of Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Iannone and more having already taken place.

Even though Randy De Puniet has decided to stay out of racing this year, dedicating his entire time to helping Suzuki develop their XRH-1 machine, we can guess that he is also eyeing a factory seat once the team is back on the grid, and will be doing his best to secure one.

Suzuki has given up its V engine architecture in favor of the 4 in-line power plant used in the XRH-1 prototype. So far the testing shows decent results, even though De Puniet and the bike are sometimes as far as one second behind the top Honda or Yamaha machines. Suzuki still has about 6 months to learn the ways of the Magneti Marelli ECU and write the best software possible for the 2015 championship, before having to contribute to the unified software the entire grid will run from 2016.

Currently in the 10th place in the WSBK score sheets and having claimed a victory in 2014, Eugene Laverty has a solid experience in both WSBK and Supersport, with no less than 13 victories in the former series and 12 in the latter. He is also brother to John and Michael, both motorcycle racers, the latter already in MotoGP, aboard PMB machinery.

We can safely assume that the two tests Laverty will take aboard XRH-1 are the first, even though not-yet-official step towards deciding who gets the two Suzuki seats for 2015. Or maybe they’ll also run a shakedown for Iannone and Pedrosa…


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