Eugene Laverty is adamant he wants to remain at world championship level in 2019 after losing his SMR WorldSBK seat to Tom Sykes late in the contract process.

Laverty believed he had secured a spot in the new Shaun Muir/BMW operation set to challenge for the title next year but was gazumped by Sykes after the Argentina round and is now looking at a ride next to Leon Camier at Red Bull Honda as his next best option.

“It’s a blow at this stage. It was something we had been working on all summer and I didn’t get the nod, unfortunately. It’s all part of racing and Ive been in this game long enough to know that these things can happen,” said Laverty, speaking at Losail.

“It was getting towards crunch time, but I got that call and it wasn’t good news. From the SMR side I was surprised, we talked about it for a long time and we were all set. Things have been lingering a little bit and a call had to be made. I wasn’t part of that plan.

“A lot of doors are closed. I am striving to stay in world championship, where I have been for 12 years, and I still want a world title. Everyone knows I am available now, so hopefully we can make something of it.”

Laverty’s options aside from Honda are Althea if they make their rumoured switch back to Ducati or he could move back down to WorldSSP, where he was runner-up in 2009 and 2010. And there are still plenty of berths left in British Superbikes too.


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