Eugene Laverty outlines goal of "winning races" next season at official unveiling of 2020 BMW World Superbike team
Eugene Laverty has set himself a target of “winning races” in next year’s World Superbike Championship after signing with the factory BMW Motorrad squad.
The Toome man will join Tom Sykes in a new-look line-up for Shaun Muir and Laverty appeared in his new colours for the first time on Tuesday as the team was unveiled at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy.
Laverty, who rode the Team Go Eleven Ducati this year, endured a largely disappointing season after breaking both his wrists in a crash at Imola.
However, the 2013 championship runner-up is now looking forward to next year with renewed enthusiasm.
Laverty - joining his third different manufacturer in three years - said: “I’m so grateful for this opportunity from BMW for 2020 and the faith that BMW has put in me.
“My aim is to repay with some race wins and I know that the bike is capable of that after the debut season that already saw the RR on the podium several times. I hope I can add to that on 2020.”
Team principal Shaun Muir reflected on a “manic” year after Sykes spearheaded the challenge on the brand-new BMW S1000RR along with German rider Markus Reiterberger, who has been replaced by Laverty.
Sykes showed the potential of the new S1000RR with four podiums in total and a pole position at Donington Park.
Muir said: “It has been a manic season, the whole relationship with BMW Motorrad and SMR started very late, so the challenge was always going to be difficult in its first year.
“Going into 2020 we can look at the success we achieved in 2019 and work on the good foundations we have built. I’m especially pleased in the way that we have steadily developed the BMW S1000RR at our pace, we have developed the bike in such a way that we are force to be reckoned with and now we must take that to the next level.
“With the new addition of Eugene Laverty partnering Tom Sykes in 2020 we feel we can take that challenge to another level and challenge for wins.”
Meanwhile, Briton Leon Haslam has been confirmed in the factory Honda team next season with Spain’s Alvaro Bautista to ride the new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade.
Haslam partnered five-time world champion Jonathan Rea at Kawasaki this year, finishing seventh in the championship.
The official Honda team will be supported directly by HRC in Japan and Haslam said it was a “dream come true” to be involved with the project in 2020.
“I am excited about the possibility of joining the HRC project and the new bike as well,” he said.
“It is a dream come true and I just can’t wait to get out there and get on the bike. From my side, just the thought of HRC coming back into the paddock was intriguing by itself, there was a lot of secrecy about what it was and what the bike was.
“For me, to have the opportunity and to be involved with it is definitely something that I was aiming for. The aim is always to win; Honda and HRC have not come here to finish second, that is for sure,” he added.
“Obviously, it is a new bike and a new team to the Championship, so testing is going to be very important.”
Alex Lowes will join Ulsterman Rea in the Kawasaki Racing Team in 2020 and the pair will be in action next week at Motorland Aragon for the start of winter testing.