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Ducati NW200 rider John Laverty has been forced to switch to the Superbike Cup for this season because the team couldn’t come to an agreement over the national superstock cup engine regulations for the brand new 1098R bikes.

The Irishman will be alongside Michael Rutter in the main races and stands more than a fair chance of taking the title despite a lack of testing time. He said: "I’ve not been able to test much and the decision as to which Championship I would be competing in was up in the air until the last minute. Riding in the Superbike Cup is a prospect I’m extremely looking forward to and a new challenge which I am certainly eager the tackle.
"My bike is a bit different to Michael’s, mainly on the electronics and data logging side but he’s an experienced rider to learn from and has been in this game for years. I will be learning my way round at the start and getting used to the bike and the best field of riders in Britain, but hope it won’t be long before I can mix it with the top boys. I just want to be consistent and get the best results I can."
Team-mate Michael Rutter said: "I’m really looking forward to the ‘08 season. I managed to get a few laps around Mallory last week and this has definitely helped but we still have a bit of work to do and we need to be out on track with similar Superbike riders to see how we compare and to gauge how competitive the new bikes are. I’m really pleased to be back on a Ducati and looking forward to running under the North West 200 banner. The North West is a great week of Irish road racing (in May) and I would encourage anyone to go along and I guarantee they will have a great time."

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