Michael Laverty is focused on challenging for victory right from the start of the BSB Championship Showdown, saying “third places are not enough” for his title hopes. Last year, Tommy Hill took the title with top-four finishes in all seven races but with Laverty trailing the defending champion by nineteen points, a similar run probably won’t be enough this time.

The showdown kicks off with a first BSB meeting at Assen and Laverty is predicting a thrilling start to the title battle with no previous form book to go on.

“I am sure there isn’t a racer in the world that would turn down the chance to race at Assen and I love the circuit. It is going to be a level playing field, as in the UK everyone has various experiences of circuits whereas at Assen we all start the same. At Donington we took a step forward and were closer to winning again and now we just need to do some fine tuning for Assen.”

“If you look back at the last few rounds Shakey did the double at Brands Hatch, Tommy had the double at Cadwell Park and then Josh did it at Donington and I hope that now it will be out turn at Assen. We are all riding at the top of our game and now it is the Showdown third places are not enough, we need wins. I am looking forward to taking our circus to Europe and putting on a great show, we are pumped up for this event and the talking stops now.”

Samsung Honda teammate Jon Kirkham won’t be part of the championship battle despite starting the season with a win but an upturn in form recently gives him reason to feel optimistic for the final three weekends.

“I am really looking forward to going to Assen this weekend. It’s a real fast, flowing track and on those kind of sections at Donington that was where we were strong so that puts us in good stead. I have qualified well at the last two rounds but just struggled in the races. We have had a test at the circuit though so we know what we need to do straight away and it should be a brilliant weekend.”