By John Kenny

Ireland’s Eugene Laverty has suffered a broken hand after a 315km per hour crash while testing a new bike in Australia.

Laverty switched to the championship-winning Aprilla this season, and was testing at Phillip Island ahead of the new World Superbike Series when he broke the third metacarpal in his left hand.

Laverty, who finished fourth in the 2011 World Superbike Series, tweeted: “Brake pads got knocked back after a wobble entering turn one at 315kph. No brakes so I had to put the bike down. Big ole crash.”

The Toomebridge man is returning to Ireland but hopes to be fit enough to ride for his new team at the opening round of the new season, which takes place in Australia next week.