Mys­te­ri­ous lack of speed sees 2016 ti­tle hope­ful Michael Laverty sal­vage just two points from Brands

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - OLI RUSHBY AT BRANDS HATCH BSB RE­PORTER oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

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

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