Eugene Laverty forced out of Assen WorldSBK amid team ‘internal restructure’

Eugene Laverty is sidelined from the grid for this weekend's 2021 WorldSBK round at Assen following the withdrawal of his RC Squadra Corse BMW team

Eugene Laverty - RC Squadra Corse BMW 2021 WorldSBK

Eugene Laverty won’t be on the grid for this weekend’s fifth round of the 2021 WorldSBK Championship after the RC Squadra Corse team withdrew amid an internal shake-up.

The Irishman - a runner-up in the 2013 WorldSBK Championship riding with Aprilia - has been struggling for form on the new privateer-run but factory-supported RC Squadra BMW M 1000 RR, which is understood to have suffered from a lack of testing and an absence of new parts.

With a best finish of eighth position this season, achieved at Estoril, the decision has therefore been taken by the Italian-based outfit to pull out in order to dedicate time to a restructure before returning.

“We are so sorry, and it was a hard decision, but we decided not to attend the Assen round due to internal reasons,” RC Squadra boss Roberto Perego said. “We are at the beginning of our project, and we are working hard on a restructure internally. 

“We are very disappointed about this absence since it would have been an Important opportunity with BMW Motorrad and Eugene. We will use the break to be better organised, to be competitive, as we deserve, in WorldSBK.”

Another blow for Eugene Laverty WorldSBK dreams

The move is the latest blow to Laverty, who has struggled for results since returning to the series following a brief foray into MotoGP with Paul Bird Motorsport.

Prior to his MotoGP shift, Laverty was one of WorldSBK’s most successful racers with 13 race wins achieved on Yamaha, Aprilia and Suzuki machinery between 2011 and 2014.

However, he has only stepped onto the podium two more times since his return to WorldSBK in 2017 across Aprilia, Ducati and BMW machinery.

Last year Laverty raced with the factory BMW WorldSBK team but save for a pole position at Magny-Cours, highlights were otherwise scant.

Though he was dropped in favour of Michael van der Mark ahead of the team’s switch to the M 1000 RR sportsbike, Laverty retained factory backing with the satellite RC Squadra Corse outfit that had previously run MV Agusta’s fleeting WorldSBK effort.

Still, Laverty and RC Squadra Corse are faring better than the sister independent BMW outfit MGM Bonovo with ex-MotoGP rider Jonas Folger, the German concern cracking the points on only a single occasion this year.

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