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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’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - By Sports Desk

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...”

Joey Dun­lop’s son Gary made his roads de­but Never mind wets, knob­blies were needed to get through the pad­dock

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