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eugene_lavertyEugene Laverty was just awarded the Irish Motorcyclist of the Year award. Laverty, who will be moving up to the World Superbike division for the 2011 season, joins an elite group of Irish riders such as Joey Dunlop, Phillip McCallen, and Brian Reid.

Laverty finished second in the World Supersport division this year behind Kenan Sofuoglu. Laverty racked up 8 wins during the 2010 season and 10 podium finishes.

“It was a nice award to get, it was the first time I have won it and it was a public vote,” said Laverty. “Last year Ryan Farquhar won it and it is normally road racers who get it, so it was nice to be recognized.

“Tom Herron was the first winner back in 1978 and Joey Dunlop won it five times. It is a very nice trophy and it has a replica of Joey Dunlop’s crash helmet on top of it.”

Laverty will be riding with Marco Melandri on the Yamaha Sterligarda team in 2011. Laverty and Melandri just finished testing at Portimao in preparation for the start of the season on February 25th.

“I’m pretty pleased with the test. It’s a nice way to go into the winter break. In the three days we got a lot of laps done, the second day especially was a big breakthrough,” Laverty said. “So far we’ve had two one day tests so the second day here was where we really made the bike mine.”

Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

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