Laverty praises boss

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Irish rookie Eugene Laverty has praised LCR Honda team boss Lucio Cecchinello on the eve of his world 250 championship debut in Qatar.

The 20-year-old sacrificed a big-money British superbike ride in 2007 to try and pursue his world championship dream, and he has thanked Italian Cecchinello for making the transition easier.

Cecchinello has a wealth of experience as a rider and team manager in GPs and he's also helped nurture some of the hottest young talent in the paddock, including factory Ducati rider Casey Stoner and factory Kawasaki man Randy de Puniet.

Laverty, who finished third in last year's British Supersport series said: "Lucio has really looked after me. He's got such a good reputation and from what I've seen so far I couldn't ask for a better team to come in to GPs with. They have bedded me in nicely. Lucio is a former rider and he knows it could be intimidating for me but he's made me feel very welcome."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt