TYCO BMW SUFFER SLOWDOWN AHEAD OF THE SHOWDOWN
Mysterious lack of speed sees 2016 title hopeful Michael Laverty salvage just two points from Brands
Michael Laverty was left bewildered this weekend when a bizarre lack of speed with the Tyco BMW saw him leave the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit having scored just two points from Sunday’s races.
After three podiums on the bounce, including victory in the second race at Thruxton, Laverty was among the favourites heading into the seventh round of the championship but a number of issues left the Northern Irishman on the back foot throughout the weekend.
Struggling with getting the power down while on the side of the tyre, Laverty was losing out on crucial acceleration compared to his rivals. Things improved for the second race but an engine failure cruelly robbed him of any chance to salvage a result.
With team-mate Christian Iddon suffering the same problems, Laverty said: “We’ve had issues right from first practice here but I still thought we’d be able to do a reasonable pace. We tried to make some changes for the first race but I was pushing the front everywhere, I lost it on my knee a few times and was really struggling to survive at the end.
“I wanted to change the engine between races as I was really struggling for drive and speed but we didn’t have time with the delay in race one. A few setting changes saw the bike feel better but the engine was so sluggish I couldn’t get past anyone. Slower bikes than mine were getting better drive and I couldn’t pass them, and it’s really hard to make ground when you’re getting passed on the straights. The BMW shouldn’t be like that at all.
“I have a feeling it’s down to the different engine spec we started using for Snetterton, but we need to go through the data and figure it out. I’ve really been struggling with getting grip when I get on the gas on the side of the tyre and I think the latest, new engine spec will deliver that as it makes its power in a different way. For now, we’ll switch back to what we had before Snetterton.”
It was also a tough weekend for Iddon, who finished ninth and 10th in Sunday’s two races and now sits five points off a top six Showdown spot.
‘Slower bikes than mine were getting better drive and I couldn’t pass them’ MICHAEL LAVERTY