WSB: Muir short on options for Laverty substitute
Milwaukee Aprilia team principal Shaun Muir is commencing the difficult task of finding a substitute rider for the injured Eugene Laverty after it was confirmed that the Irishman is to miss the WorldSBK rounds in Aragon, Assen and Imola following his crash in Thailand on Sunday.
Laverty will not return until Donington Park after he crashed at Buriram and was run over by Jordi Torres, suffering a double pelvic fracture. Cruelly, this was the second successive Thai round at which the SMR team has suffered such misfortune, as Lorenzo Savadori was injured and ruled out of action in the Sunday race last year.
“I will be giving a substitute rider some consideration over the next few days and confirming a name this weekend or before," said Muir. "There are not many to choose from. The obvious choice was Sylvain Guintoli but he is contracted to Suzuki. Stefan Bradl was another, but he is contracted to Honda. All of the BSB riders are out of question too because when we are at Aragon they will be racing at Brands Hatch.
“I will start looking into it more tomorrow. Since Sunday we have been focusing on the progress of Norge (Laverty) and checking when he will be fit again. As we now know, he is out for three rounds and will be back for Donington.”
When Savadori was on the sidelines last year, Milwaukee drafted in 2009 125cc Grand Prix World Champion Julian Simon to race at Aragon. The Spaniard scored points in both races, with 13th and 15th positions.
Unlike in 2017, Aprilia is now running a fully factory-supported effort in the European Superstock 1000 Championship, where the Aprilia Racing Team’s riders are Chilean Max Scheib and Italian Luca Vitaly. They will be in Aragon to start their season, thus could be possibilities to ride Laverty’s bike. Another option could be former WSB rider Matteo Baiocco, as Aragon will not clash with his CIV commitments.