MCE British Superbike title hopeful Michael Laverty makes no bones about his top goal this season as the popular Northern Ireland rider returns to the class after two seasons in MotoGP.
Laverty has his sights set on fighting for the title on the all-new Tyco BMW Motorrad S1000RR, which was officially unveiled yesterday at the MCN London Motorcycle Show.
The Toomebridge man previously clinched the Supersport crown for the Moneymore team and renews his association with Phillip and Hector Neill for 2015, with Laverty regarded as one of the pre-season favourites for the coveted Superbike title.
“It’s great to finally see the finished version of the bike in the new colours for 2015 and to show it off here at the London Motorcycle Show is great for both BMW and also the race fans who have turned up,” Laverty said.
“I’m coming back from a couple of seasons in MotoGP which makes me even more determined to race at the sharp end all season with Tyco BMW on the all-new S1000RR.
“I’ve won a championship before with the TAS guys so I’m delighted to be back and that will be our main goal again this year. Now we have launched the bikes the first test can’t come soon enough.”
Carrick’s Alastair Seeley also attended the launch yesterday along with Tommy Bridewell, who completes the Ulster squad’s two-man BSB line-up.
Seeley has switched to the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship from the Supersport class and is strongly fancied to add to his two previous British championship wins in the Superstock 1000 and Supersport divisions this season.
The 35-year-old also returns to the Vauxhall International North West 200 in May, where Seeley is closing in on roads legend Robert Dunlop’s all-time record haul of 15 victories at the seaside meeting, extending his own tally to 12 wins in 2014.
“I’m delighted to be part of this launch here at the London Motorcycle Show alongside Michael and Tommy and while they will be doing their best to win the BSB title, I’ll be looking to win the National Superstock class,” Seeley said.
“I’ve been training hard all winter and the start of the season cannot come quick enough. I’m delighted to be back with what I regard as the best team in the paddock for both British championship and also at the North West 200.”
Tyco BMW team manager Philip Neill is equally enthusiastic over the onset of the new season, which represents a major change in direction for the Northern Ireland team after a long and successful tie-up with Suzuki.
“By the response of the fans here in London all the hard work has paid off and we seem to have pleased BMW with our 2015 livery,” said Neill.
“It’s been a busy winter with a lot of change for all of us at TAS Racing, but we still have the support of Phil Dashey and his team at Tyco Security Products, and all our other associate sponsors; and of course we are obviously very honoured to have been chosen as BMW Motorrad to spearhead their official effort this season in British Superbike.
“It’s almost time to take the bike on track in preparation for what we anticipate will be an exciting season.”
Lincolnshire’s Guy Martin – who has been at the centre of reports during the past week that he is set to scale down his racing next year – and William Dunlop will spearhead the Tyco BMW team’s international road racing efforts plus the Southern 100 and selected Irish national road races.