LAVERTY GATECR BSB TEST TOP SPO
P74 | Tyco BMW rider emerges as one of the men to beat with strong showing in final official tests ‘You don’t get any points for testing but it’s bragging rights before the first race’
With all the pre-season hype for the 2016 MCE British Superbike championship being focused around Shane Byrne’s switch to Ducati and Leon Haslam’s return from WSB, nobody saw Tyco BMW man Michael Laverty coming in the final two tests at Silverstone and Donington last week.
Having won the last race of the 2015 season we shouldn’t be surprised at Laverty’s pace, and with a heavily revised S1000RR at his disposal he is already the man shaping up to be the spoiler to the established elite.
“This time last year we ended the tests and knew we still had so much development work ahead of us; this year I feel that we are now that step ahead and that is why I was so determined to stay with the team because with all the changes throughout the grid this continuity should give us a bit of an upper hand to begin with. I know everyone will keep improving and won’t stand still, but if we keep pushing on too, then we will be in an even better position.”
Laverty continued his methodical work ethic, building up throughout the opening official test at Silverstone, improving his race pace whilst still trying to find that bit extra for the single fast lap that he will need to pull out come qualifying. The Tyco BMW rider looked set to end the opening test at Silverstone at the top of the timesheets until a charging Leon Haslam denied him the place on his final lap of the day, leaving the JG Speedfit Kawasaki just 0.12s ahead.
However at Donington Laverty emerged on top, setting the fastest lap in the same way it was taken from him just two days before; waiting until his final run of the day to remove Shane Byrne from the top spot.
A confident Laverty though admits there is still more to be found at Silverstone this weekend: “I am really happy with how it went at the tests and it feels good to have ended those at the top of the timesheets. You don’t get any points for testing, but it is bragging rights going into the first races of the season, and we have left there with a good race setting now. We need to work a bit more on the one fast lap time that we need to be able to pull out for the final stage of qualifying but I am really happy. We have more on the table and we are full of confidence – we are ready to race. It’s a really exciting prospect...”