Eugene Laverty will be riding a BMW S 1000 RR for the official BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team in the 2020 Superbike World Championship.
Laverty has raced for a string of manufacturers in the past, including Yamaha, Aprilia, Suzuki and Ducati – but next year, he’s heading to BMW. The Irishman will be replacing German rider Markus Reiterberger, presumably joining Tom Sykes in the BMW fold – although Sykes’ contract hasn’t been renewed just yet.
Speaking about the news Marc Bongers, the Director of the motor sports division of BMW Motorrad said: “With Eugene Laverty, we welcome on board a very experienced driver who is also very familiar in the Shaun Muir team. At the same time, we want to show our great thanks to Markus Reiterberger. He has been closely involved in the development of the racing version of the new RR from the beginning, and has been instrumental in the success we have had. We will do our best, in the races we have left together in the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, to make sure we have a successful end of the season with Markus.”
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Shaun Muir, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team Director, added: “First of all, we have to thank Markus Reiterberger for his commitment and effort. Likewise, I am Glad to welcome Eugene Laverty to the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team by 2020, and also welcome you back to the SMR team. Eugene joins the team and brings with him his rich experience. We firmly believe that he will be a strong podium candidate. We hope that by the time he goes on the track for the pre-season tests in November, the bike is on another level, and I think that the combination of his experience and speed will be a very welcome addition to the WorldSBK project.”
Laverty’s the third rider to get a contract sorted for 2020 – alongside Jonathan Rea’s commitment to Kawasaki and Chaz Davies’ extension with Ducati. At this stage, that’s it. There’s been a lot of speculation about where everyone else ends up – but the big question is whether Álvaro Bautista ends up over at Honda…?