Author: Oli Rushby Pics: Tim Keeton Posted: 23 Apr 2015
Tyco BMW’s Michael Laverty has described last weekend’s second round of the British Superbike championship at Brands Hatch as the ‘toughest weekend of his career’.
Laverty left Brands with just three points after finishing 13th in the first race and an even more disappointing 19th in the second as the Ulsterman continues to struggle with getting comfortable on the BMW S 1000 RR.
“It’s been a lot more difficult than I anticipated,” Laverty told Bike Social after the race. “We had a tough Donington but came up with a new electronics strategy and we were alright for the races. I thought we could go to Brands, get the chassis in the ballpark and then be fine for a top five.
“It just didn’t go that way; the nature of this circuit has really exposed our weaknesses. I have no confidence in the front and I’m lacking feel from the rear and round Brands if you can’t flow you’re slow. It’s such a nice little circuit when the bike works for you but it was not that day for me.
“I’m not at one with the bike and it’s like fighting with it all weekend, we just couldn’t get it to do what we wanted. We made a small improvement for morning warm-up and race one was OK but not great. We made another change for race two and it made the bike worse. It’s given us a bit of a direction on where the issues are which is the one saving grace from it but the results are horrendous, we shouldn’t be outside the top ten.
“It’s probably been the toughest weekend of my career, just because we didn’t find any answers and didn’t move forward. I started with high 46-second laps in FP1 and ended the weekend doing pretty much the same.
“We’ll keep chipping away, we’ve stuck around the areas BMW recommend to look at and what works for everyone else on BMWs but it just doesn’t seem to work for me. We’re going to go our own route at the Oulton Park test. We’ll try a revised strategy there and hopefully we can put our finger on what’s wrong. I just need the feeling that I can ride the bike hard, once that comes we’ll be laughing.”
Laverty moved back to British Superbikes from Grand Prix racing where he was finishing out of the points on a regular basis with an uncompetitive package in the Paul Bird Motorsport team. He says he didn’t expect to be fighting for similar positions on a proven BMW.
“It’s frustrating more than anything, because I know what myself and the team are capable of. It’s soul destroying whenever you’re not able to extract the maximum from the bike.
“I’ve come off two years in GP where I’ve been finishing 17th/18th but I’d get off the bike and know I’d got the most out of the package. I can’t get that feeling at the moment because I’m not getting the most out of the BMW. That’s probably more frustrating than results, at the moment we’ve only got to make the top six for the showdown.
“It’s not a disaster, we’re only two rounds in. With Samsung Honda I didn’t have the best of starts to the season either but then went 1-2 at Snetterton and Knockhill so you can turn it around quickly once you get your speed up. I’m not too stressed with that but you do get a bit deflated with the results. It can reflect you’re morale a little but but I’m still positive.”