Laverty under pressure after van der Mark BMW deal for 2021 WorldSBK

The signing of Michael van der Mark means Eugene Laverty could spend the next few WorldSBK races fighting for his ride at BMW Motorrad WorldSBK

Eugene Laverty - BMW Motorrad WorldSBK

Eugene Laverty says his performances when the 2020 WorldSBK season starts up again will be under more scrutiny following the news Michael van der Mark will enter his BMW team for next year.

Switching from Go Eleven Ducati over the winter, Laverty has competed in just a single event for the factory BMW squad so far this year following the prolonged coronavirus break, though that Phillip Island outing was hampered by an off during Sunday warm-up that ruled him out of two of the three races. 

With testing now underway ahead of the 2020 WorldSBK season restart in August, Laverty finds his position in BMW under threat following the announcement van der Mark will definitely be riding for BMW in 2021.

With only one factory seat up for grabs now, Laverty will likely find himself up against current team-mate Tom Sykes for the ride.

“Right now, all I can think about is 2020 because my performances now are going to affect what happens for next year, I have to do the best job possible. I hope the right door opens up. I really want to stay with the bike, I have gelled well with the entire squad and now it is starting to feel like my bike.”

One 2021 WorldSBK option for Laverty if he doesn’t get the nod over Sykes is a move to a possible satellite effort that BMW is considering. The German firm has repeatedly said it is its intention to expand its squad for 2021 with a semi-works team.

In the meantime, Laverty believes BMW are in a good position when the season does get underway with the first round in Jerez and Portimao.

“Jerez, everyone tested in the winter, so we know it well. It will be interesting I think we can be in the mix, Jerez there aren’t so many long straights so I think we should be there for the fight.”