Eugene Laverty lands BMW WorldSBK deal for 2020

Eugene Laverty is confirmed to ride the factory BMW S1000RR alongside Tom Sykes for the 2020 World Superbike Championship

Eugene Laverty

Experienced race winner Eugene Laverty will switch to the BMW factory team for the 2020 World Superbike Championship, it has been revealed.

The deal will see the Irishman – a 13-time race winner in WorldSBK – return to the Shaun Muir Racing fold after competing with the team in 2017 and 2018 aboard Aprilia RSV4s.

Though he was frozen out of SMR’s line-up when it evolved into BMW Motorrad’s revived factory effort for 2019, he will return to the team for 2020 in place of Markus Reiterberger and alongside Tom Sykes.

“In Eugene Laverty, we welcome a very experienced rider on board – someone who is also very familiar with Shaun Muir’s team,” said BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Marc Bongers. “At the same time, we would like to say a big thank you to Markus Reiterberger. 

“He was closely involved in the development of the racing version of the new RR from the word go, and has thus been instrumental in the success we have enjoyed. We will do everything we can, in the remaining races we have together in the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, to ensure that we have a successful end to the season with Markus.”

“First of all, we have got to thank Markus Reiterberger for his commitment and efforts,” added team boss Shaun Muir. “Equally, I’m delighted to welcome Eugene Laverty into the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team for 2020, and also to welcome him back to the SMR team. Eugene joins the team and brings with him a wealth of experience. 

“We strongly believe that he can be a strong challenger for the podium. We are hopeful that as soon as he hits the track at pre-season testing in November, the bike will be on another level and I think that the combination of his experience and his speed will be a welcome addition to the WorldSBK project.”

A return to factory machinery for Laverty

Though BMW has maintained a constant presence in WorldSBK since its 2009 debut, this year marks its most concerted factory-backed effort since 2011.

Armed with the latest generation BMW S1000RR, the bike has proven competitive in the hands of Sykes, who notched up the manufacturer’s first pole position in 10 years at Donington Park, as well as three podium results.

Laverty – who raced in MotoGP in 2015 and 2016 – has accumulated 13 wins and 35 WorldSBK podiums over the years.

Joining the privateer Go Eleven team to ride the new Ducati Panigale V4 R, Laverty’s season has been disrupted by wrist injuries he sustained in an accident at Imola.