Michael Laverty wants to end season on a high note
WINNING the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship may be a long shot – but Michael Laverty insists he is going into the season finale at Brands Hatch this weekend with a point to prove.
The Louth-based Samsung Honda rider's Showdown nightmare continued at Silverstone as he continued to struggle on the soft compound tyre, leaving Northamptonshire fourth in the standings and 49 points behind championship leader Shane Byrne.
With 75 points up for grabs from the three races at Brands, it is still mathematically possible for the 31-year-old to win the title, though it would require some considerable bad luck for Byrne, Josh Brookes and Alex Lowes.
The Ulsterman has to be on the podium for all three races to keep his slim title chances alive, and admits he is determined to improve on this season's tally of just two victories at the Kent circuit.
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"The Showdown has been a bit of a disaster for me," he said.
"It's not how I imagined it would turn out at all so now we're coming into the final race looking to end on a high.
"To give myself a chance I have to be on the podium in every race but ideally we can come away with at least one.
"I've only won twice this season and if I'm honest that would have been a disappointment if you'd told me that at the start of the year.
"I won the first race of the final round at Brands last season so if I can replicate that or go one or two better that would be superb.
"Obviously I'm not writing off my title chances completely because it could still happen but I'm realistic about it – it would take something pretty catastrophic for one of those guys ahead of me not to take the title.
"All I can really do now is focus on ending the season on a high and give a good account of myself."
Laverty admits he is also aware the 2013 rider line-up for the Samsung Honda team will be decided in the weeks after the conclusion to the season.
After qualifying for the Showdown this season the Ulsterman is keen to stay, and believes the team are more than capable of mounting a serious title challenge again next season.
"Ideally I'd love to stay at the team next year and see if we can improve on how we did this season," he said.
"I think we could push for the title again and we've learnt plenty of lessons which will help us hopefully go one better and be up there right until the end."