FAMILIARITY BREEDS SU
| | OLD DOG, OLD TRICKS Michael Laverty gets the jump on his BSB rivals by already having plenty of experience on the
Michael Laverty picked up where he left off in 2015 by winning the opening race of 2016 MCE British Superbike season at Silverstone. The 34-year-old has enjoyed a stellar winter testing programme and was the man best prepared when the lights went out for the season opener.
“It has been a smooth run in through testing because we know the feeling we are after,” Laverty said before Sunday’s opening encounter. “We have been fine-tuning and we have been fast everywhere because the bike has been working well with the base setting.”
The former British Supersport champion turned that confidence into immediate success at Silverstone, seeing off strong challenges from Shane Byrne and Honda duo Dan Linfoot and Jason O’halloran, plus his new team-mate Christian Iddon to take victory in the first race.
“I wanted to make my presence felt and went straight to the front and controlled the race as best I could,” he explained. “I wanted to pull a gap but I could see that wasn’t possible. It was difficult to be as consistent here as I have been before because the wind was so gusty out the back.”
Laverty’s tyre choice was an inspired one with the BMW star calling on his
ing winds and heavy showers, the Tyco team proved the most versatile at adapting to the challenging conditions.
Tyre choice was a critical factor at Silverstone and both Laverty and Iddon benefitted from running the harder SC1 Pirelli rubber in race one as their main rivals chose the softer option.
Iddon, however, would have preferred to use the softer option but was overruled by the team.
The cold track made it impossible for the softer rubber to work effectively and for race two all of the main contenders chose the hard tyre.
“Lots of people take different gambles in this game but we work more on race strategy than the one lap thing,” Philip Neill said. “Our tyres were always going to come good towards the end of the race.”
On a weekend that Bertie Hauser, director of BMW Motorrad Motorsport, paid a visit to the Tyco garage the squad certainly made the most of the advantage they enjoyed in having a full season with the S1000RR under their belts as rivals PBM/BE Wiser Ducati and JG Speedfit Kawasaki battled with all-new machinery at Silverstone.
‘A double podium in BSB is something you never dream of’