Ahead of the second round of the World Supersport Championship at Qatar on Saturday, Parkalgar Honda team manager Simon Buckmaster believes that Eugene Laverty represents the best chance for any Irish or British rider to win a world title.
Irishman Laverty and his team-mate, Portuguese Miguel Praia, both like the Losail circuit in Qatar and are sure they can challenge for strong results.
“Eugene represents the best chance of any Irish or British rider to lift a world championship in 2009,” Buckmaster said.
“There’s no-one else in World Supersport, World Superbike or MotoGP who has the same opportunity to win. We are going to Qatar expecting to challenge for the victory from now on and not to be off the podium with Eugene.
“Miguel showed real pace at Phillip Island but a crash cut his race short. He likes Qatar and we are expecting a strong points finish from him.”
“I‘m going to Qatar with the intention of challenging at the front right from the start of first practice,” Laverty said. “It’s a different approach than I had for Phillip Island, where I targeted the top six as a result.
"There I was 11th after first practice as I bedded myself in, but I don’t need to do that anymore. There is a long straight at Qatar and given the speed of the Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR, I think we will be very competitive.
“Although there are a few circuits on the calendar I’ve never visited, I aim to get good results now and build momentum. At Qatar I will be happy with a podium, but delighted if I can win.”