2011 World Superbike
For nine years, Eugene Laverty contested with the number 50 across many motorcycle racing disciplines. But during his debut year on the Yamaha Factory team for 2011 World Superbike, the Irishman has been forced to give up his number, and instead use 58.
Laverty, who took over the empty Superbike seat left by Cal Crutchlow, had to give up his number because Suzuki rider Sylvain Guintoli competes with 50 in the World Superbike series.
Eugene Laverty (Yamaha Sterilgarda Superbike) says: "I don’t have an emotional attachment to it, but I do feel it has been very significant in my career so far, and for that reason I am a bit sad to be parting with it," he admits."I don’t have a choice, but I did have a choice in choosing my new number, 58."
"I like it because it’s probably the nearest you can get to 50. I’m sure I’ll go back to it when I get the opportunity. This year Sylvain has it but I’d definitely like to get it back as soon as I can."
The 24-year old first fielded the number 50 in 2002 during his debut in the British 125cc Championship, and has used it ever since.
Laverty competed in World Supersport on the Parkalgar Honda CBR600 in 2009 and 2010. His best results with the number were achieved in 2009 and 2010 in World Supersport, when he notched up 12 wins and twice finished championship runner-up on the Parkalgar Honda.
While competing in the 250cc MotoGP Championship in 2008, Laverty rode as a wildcard in World Supersport, substituting for the injured Fabien Foret; he took second and third in those races.