Eugene Laverty, Jonas Folger secure satellite BMW deals for 2021 WorldSBK

Eugene Laverty and Jonas Folger will lead BMW's expanded WorldSBK effort for 2021 with the satellite RC Squadra Corse and Benovo Action teams respectively

BMW M 1000 RR

BMW has confirmed it will delegate its new factory-assisted satellite effort in the 2021 WorldSBK Championship to two teams headed up by Eugene Laverty and ex-MotoGP rider Jonas Folger.

Motivated by the introduction of the new homologation-special BMW M 1000 RR, the German marque will expand its effort to include a pair of satellite entries, in addition to the Shaun Muir Racing-prepared full factory effort.

With Tom Sykes and new signing Michael van der Mark heading up the works team, Laverty will ride with RC Squadra Corse and Jonas Folger will compete under the Benovo Action Team banner.

MotoGP 2020 Riders' Championship Race Visualised

Laverty’s signing comes after he was dropped from the factory team to make way for former Honda and Yamaha rider van der Mark. His new deal will also see him become test and development rider for the M 1000 RR.

Folger, meanwhile, will be competing as a rookie in WorldSBK after showing encouraging form in a pair of wild-card outings on a Yamaha this season. 

The German was a podium winner in MotoGP in 2017 before he was struck down with Gilbert’s Syndrome, forcing him out of full-time action until 2020 when he returned with a dominant IDM Superbike Championship campaign of eight wins from eight races.

Jonas Folger - MGM Benovo Yamaha

"I am overjoyed that I will be able to compete as a fixed starter in the Superbike World Championship next year,” said Folger on his personal website. “At the same time, it is a great honor for me that BMW, by which I mean Bonovo action, MGM Racing and myself, has chosen us for the task of forming a satellite team. I think this combination is very promising. 

“We are definitely going into our rookie season with great expectations and we have a lot to do with BMW. The overall package should always be competitive, as the BMW Superbike is at a very high level and the new machine has also been well developed. I hope we will have our first test very soon."

“Since the technology is completely new to us, we want to start preparing for the season on the racetrack as soon as possible. In any case, with the signing of the contract, the first big step for 2021 has already been taken. 

“I would therefore like to thank BMW for their trust in me, and Mr. Jürgen Röder from Bonovo action and Michael Galinski from MGM Racing for their efforts to realize this project. Of course, I would also like to thank all the sponsors who contributed to the creation. I'm really looking forward to the new challenge and can hardly wait until I can get on my new racing machine for the first time."