Michael Laverty isn’t making any rash predictions over his prospects for the opening round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Donington Park on Easter Monday as the Tyco BMW rider makes his return to the series after two years.
Laverty, who is partnered in the Northern Ireland team by Tommy Bridewell, has competed in the MotoGP class for the past two seasons but makes his comeback in the UK’s top domestic short circuit series amidst high expectations.
Following the switch from Suzuki to BMW Motorrad as the German manufacturer’s official BSB and international roads team, the Moneymore squad is expected to mount a serious title challenge in 2015.
Laverty, though, feels an opening-round win on Monday may be out of reach after encountering some teething issues with the S1000RR during pre-season tests, but the experienced Toomebridge man is confident of forcing his way into the championship hunt as the season unfolds.
“The bike is good, it’s got some really strong points, though the biggest thing that I’m not quite content with at the moment is the electronics,” Laverty told the News Letter.
“We’ve got to use the BSB-spec Motec kit and that’s causing the biggest hiccup at the moment because we’re not quite getting the same feeling that you can with the BMW kit, so throttle connection and power delivery are a little bit of an issue.
“There are a lot of positives with the bike though and the engine is very strong but I just need a bit more time to iron out the electronics to get it suited to how I want it. It’s probably a bit of an ask this weekend to be fighting for a race win but you never know, I could still pull one out of the bag,” he added.
“Every time I ride the bike we’re understanding it more, I’m adapting to the bike and we’re continuously understanding how to get the best out of it. I’m pretty positive we can do a decent job this weekend though we do have some work ahead of us.”
Practice for the season-opener gets underway on Saturday with final qualifying tomorrow.
Monday’s two BSB races are scheduled to take place at 1.30pm and 4.30pm.