Eugene Laverty set for World Superbike return
Eugene Laverty will be back in the World Superbike Championship in 2017 after two years racing in MotoGP.
The Toomebridge rider is making the switch after his Aspar Ducati team signed Alvaro Bautista.
Bautista will compete in a GP16 model next year while Laverty faced the prospect of racing the older GP15.
Laverty, who is poised to sign a superbike deal with SMR to ride a new factory Aprilia, said he has "unfinished business" in WorldSBK.
The 30-year-old is currently 11th in the MotoGP standings with 63 points from 11 rounds.
Laverty, who was runner-up in WorldSBK in 2013, had hoped to continue in MotoGP beyond this year but feels he would not be competitive in 2017.
"I kept pushing to try and get a GP16," Laverty told Crash.net.
"But when I knew that my team-mate was going to be on a GP16 and there was just going to be a GP15 [for me] it was a case of head over heart.
"Ultimately it was the competitiveness of the machinery that tipped the balance for me.
"I would really be up against it in MotoGP if I was to continue riding a two-year-old bike, whereas in World Superbikes I will have a bike and team capable of winning races each and every race weekend.
"At the end of the day the very reason I go racing is to win.
"Perhaps I could return to MotoGP one day as World Superbike champion, that really would be something very special."