Michael Laverty Blog – December 2015
Michael Laverty is now enjoying some well-earned sunshine with his wife Jodi after taking the final win of the season at Brands Hatch in October; before helping re-launch the Tyco BMW team at Motorcycle Live in November with his new team-mate Christian Iddon and attending his brother Eugene’s wedding in Ireland.
Looking back on 2015, Michael told us…
It’s fair to say 2015 was a lot tougher than expected for everyone at Tyco BMW. We had a huge task on our hands, so perhaps I should have anticipated it, but in the end we showed our potential for 2016, which is very encouraging.
This season marked a year of change for both the TAS Racing team and myself: a switch of manufacturer is a laborious task, but the team made impressive progress over the winter with a short turnaround to the start of the 2015 season.
The BMW S 1000 RR is a fantastic machine. My first impressions of the road bike blew me away, so perhaps that’s why I was a little surprised when things didn’t instantly click at the beginning of the season. Of course the bike is designed to run BMW’s own ECU [electronics], so when you switch to the compulsory Motec system for the BSB championship, then the work begins.
As I’ve already said, we got there in the end. I arrived into the Showdown phase of the Championship with some updates that got me on the pace. To finish fourth in the championship was pleasing given the lacklustre start to the season and to get that win under my belt in the very last race of the season, certainly was the icing on the cake.
That set us up nicely for the winter, however contract negotiations can be testing at times. I told Philip early that my intention was to stay onboard, so it was great to renew my contract and continue with the Tyco BMW team for the 2016 BSB season.
It’s the first time in BSB where I will have that continuity of the same bike and team for a second successive season; that’s something I’m really looking forward to. We went out with a win in the final race of BSB 2015, which signals our intentions for the New Year. The TAS team has some interesting developments planned for the BMW S 1000 RR this winter, and considering we finished the season with a winning motorcycle, a winter of fine-tuning is an intriguing prospect.
It’s all about marginal gains in BSB. The playing field is very level given the rules, so the smaller details in fact have a bigger impact on performance when it gets down to pointy end of the field.
I’ve been really busy since that last race at Brands in October, barely spending a day at home in Wales. As they say back home in Northern Ireland: ‘like cow dung; never off the road!” Happily I’ve been riding plenty of motorcycles, instructing at a BMW owners’ track day in Portugal alongside three time British champ and former GP rider Niall Mackenzie and I also finally got my motorcycle licence.
Whilst in Portimao the BMW guys offered to send me to one of their rider training centres for an intense course to get my direct access. I attended the Stoke location and I must say it was a great experience.
Now I would consider myself fairly competent when it comes to actually riding a motorcycle, but following the fantastic tuition I received, I now feel a lot more confident on the public highways without that safety shell around me.
I was pretty chuffed that after three days of training, which included my CBT I managed to pass both the module one and two tests with a clean sheet. The only blot on my copybook was getting 49 out of the possible 50 correct answers on my theory test, so I didn’t quite match the 100 from 100 I achieved when taking my class two truck test. No one likes a show off though, right;]
Since writing this I’ve been to Munich for the superbly presented BMW Motorrad Motorsport event at the BMW Welt in the Olympia Park; spent a couple of days at Motorcycle Live at the NEC in Birmingham; been on my brother Eugene’s stag in Barcelona [less said the better!] and back to Ireland for his wedding at the start of December.
Now I’m having some quality time with my wife Jodi in the Carribbean over Christmas, before heading to Girona for some pre-season training with my brother-in-law Chaz Davies. I’m loading the van up full of bikes and kit to get down there early January to put in the hard yards, so I’m as ready as I can be to come out fighting for the 2016 British Superbike title on the Tyco BMW.
See you all at Silverstone in April…
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year