Laverty, who was a title fighter during the showdown last year, took three winds and five podiums in 2011. Laverty will be racing the Honda Fireblade and hopes to fight for the title again in 2012.
Laverty said: “It is an exciting prospect for me to be joining Honda for 2012. It was unexpected and it is always a difficult decision to move teams, especially as we had such a good season this year. I was fortunate to have options and I have gone from one championship winning team to another; everyone knows that Honda have the history in BSB and we are really looking forward now to next season. I think the change with the rules has played a part in my decision to join Honda. You can see from Evo this season that the Honda chassis and engine was so strong and delivers useable power which will be so important next year. Next season for sure is going to be interesting and I think we start in a great position. The calibre of Honda and the Fireblade is high and we know we have big potential to fight for the title.”
The Honda team will have another title contender in Jon Kirkham. The former Superstock champion scored his maiden British Superbike victory last year and he’s looking for a few more in 2012.
Kirkham said: “It is absolutely fantastic for me to be joining the official Honda team as they are well established and the most successful team in the BSB paddock. I really do believe they will have the package to beat with the new technical regulations as you could see how strong the Honda Fireblade was in the Evo championship last season, and the new for 2012 ‘Blade looks set to be even stronger. 2011 was an up and down season for me so next year I just want to concentrate on my riding and getting the Honda up the front where we want and need to be. I want to be consistently ‘up there’. This season I have proved I can be, so I now need to do that every race and with the Honda team I believe that is totally possible. I have my own expectations; I am sure everyone does, but I definitely want to exceed them next year. I have never been so excited about a season as I am about 2012 and I just want to get started now.”