Tyco BMW’s Michael Laverty is back inside the top six of the MCE British Superbike championship standings, after winning race two and coming second in the opening race at Thruxton.
The Wales based rider is now fourth overall and is firmly in Showdown contention on 135 points. In race one he lost out on first place to Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne, but in race two the Panigale rider experienced a technical problem and retired to the pits whilst battling with the BMW.
This edged the Northern Irishman into the lead and that is where he remained, and crossed the finishing line with a three second advantage over second place finisher, Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran.
“It has been a good weekend and it was a little bit unexpected because I had this pinpointed as this was going to be my worst weekend of the year so it is nice to get a good points haul. I have to give the credit to the team and they worked hard all weekend and they worked towards the long game,” said Laverty, speaking to Bikesportnews.com from the track this evening.
“I felt I rode it well I had to be really patient throughout the race and save the tyre and with three laps to go I thought this is the time to try and break them. I managed it well but the team gave me the bike to deliver it.
"Shakey was in a class of his own and the Ducati suits this circuit and he was riding it really good and I don’t think we had a realistic shot of beating him so he was unlucky today but I have been unlucky this season too so I will take it when it comes my way. I knew it would just take one good points scoring day and to be back in contention again, it is nice to come out with a one-two today and reignite our championship.”
But ‘tyre management’ was the reason that Laverty was able to maintain the lead. A steady pace and the setup changes his crew did to the S1000RR during the earlier free practice sessions really paid off - and it showed.
“Tyre management was the key to be honest. The last few laps were difficult even with the tyre. I protected it all race and I have been so gentle on it and the setup allowed me to be quite gentle while still doing a good pace. So once I got to the front I thought just run a pace that will save the tyre and drop the hammer at the end.
“Luckily the homework we done on Friday and FP3 is where we really found our answers and it means if your ego can take it you are down the timesheets throughout the weekend and it looks like you are struggling, but we knew we were quietly confident that we would have the long game covered on race day and it is nice when it works out that way.
“It was a team effort and the guys turned the bike inside out and changed head angles, off sets, engine spec, electronics - we were changing everything so it is good that we found an answer and we weren’t stabbing in the dark and every step we made went in the right direction.”
Speaking after race one Laverty said: “Shakey has had awesome pace all weekend and to be honest I watched his onboard laps yesterday morning before practice and for me to be fighting with him I am happy.
“The team have done a fantastic job all weekend to make our soft tyre last over distance. The restart was not ideal and those last few laps were pretty sketchy but great to be back in second place and we are chuffed with what we have achieved.”