Eugene impresses ahead of season opener
EUGENE Laverty ended his final pre-season testing on a high after impressing the Parkalgar Honda squad earlier this month.
As he and girlfriend Pippa prepare to jet-off to Australia next week ahead of the opening round at Phillip Island on March 1, team boss Simon Buckmaster has revealed he has high hopes for the Durham-based Irish star.
Eugene (he's known to many as Norge but revealed recently to Burning Rubber that it's not a name he likes) is partnering Miguel Praia on board the Honda CBR 600 in the World Supersport Championship - also known as 'the axe-murderers championship' because it's so fraught and action packed.
"I know the talent Eugene has and was a big admirer back in 2006 when my rider Cal Crutchlow beat Eugene to the British Supersport Championship," said Simon.
"Eugene may not have won that year but it was because he was a little young and crashed unnecessarily. He showed real pedigree, learnt from that experience and is a better rider today so I am delighted he is now riding with Parkalgar Honda rather than against us.
"Two years on an uncompetitive 250cc GP bike certainly didn't help him achieve his objectives but now he has a team and bike capable of running at the front and challenging for wins and a Championship.
"He's taken a little time adjusting to the four-stroke bike and the competitiveness of the World Supersport Championship but is making big strides. He's got incredible drive to succeed and I am sure he will be a race winner and title contender in 2009."
For more info on Eugene and the team, visit www.parkalgar-honda.com.