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Laverty plays down contract talks

Eugene Laverty plays down rumours he is signed up for the 2012 World Superbike Championship season, insisting he hasn't inked a deal with any team as yet.

Eugene Laverty is hopeful he will be riding for a new World Superbike Championship team come the post-season tests at Portimao next week, though he insists he has not put pen to paper with any potential employers.

Laverty has emerged as a hot topic ahead of the final round of the 2011 WSBK season, the Irishman linked with several manufacturers, including Aprilia, BMW Italia, Honda and Kawasaki.

However, though Laverty is heavily rumoured to have inked a deal with Aprilia, the man himself insists he has not committed his future just yet. Despite this, the Monza double winner will take delivery of 'logo-less' overalls this weekend in preparation for a potential outing with a new team.

"On Tuesday I may get the chance to throw my leg over my new steed for 2012 but before that I'll be needing to sign a contract," he wrote in his official blog.

"There's a cool Alpinestars testing suit arriving on Monday without any team logos which is a really strange situation to be in."

Laverty's future plans have reportedly been confused by an unusually stagnant WSBK market. Indeed, at this stage, just BMW has firmed its full line-up for 2012, though Italian press has linked the manufacturer with a big-money swoop for new champion Carlos Checa following reports that Ducati have not issued him with a contract extension. Nonetheless, the Spaniard has signalled his intentions to stay at Althea Racing if possible.

Furthermore, GPOne.com has speculated that PATA Racing, which was established as a joint venture between BRC and DFX in 2010, could split again for 2012, meaning one less Aprilia on the grid than originally envisaged.

Currently, the only confirmed riders for 2012 are Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam at BMW, Jonathan Rea at Castrol Honda and Max Biaggi at Aprilia Alitalia.

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