Eugene Laverty will become a factory Aprilia rider in 2012 after signing a two year deal with the Italian manufacturer this morning.
It remains unclear the exact structure of the team, but it seems unlikely that he will be lining up alongside Max Biaggi in the Alitalia squad. The more likely scenario is that he will be run out of the PATA Aprilia team but with full factory bikes and engineers.
The 25 year old Irishman is expected to get his first test on the bike on Tuesday at Portimao.
For full inside story see MCN on Wednesday 19th October.