Michael Laverty feels Tyco BMW has produced the strongest overall bike package for the opening rounds of the MCE British Superbike championship and must continue to push developments before Kawasaki and Ducati catch up.
The 34-year-old rider claimed victory in the 2016 curtain raiser at Silverstone before missing out in race two after liquid splashed on his visor making him believe it was raining and duly backed off, only to recover to take sixth place.
Laverty felt he definitely had the race pace to battle for a double victory at the opener and having seen his rivals' full potential he was a little disappointed he was unable to maximise his advantage at the Northamptonshire circuit.
“I thought after testing we had a very strong motorbike with a strong engine, electronics working well and the chassis is almost there but there are a couple of areas I still want to work on,” Laverty said. “The Kawasaki with Hickman had a bit more grip stability than us out on the fast straights and the Ducati has it to.
“I didn't get to follow Shakey but I followed Glenn Irwin in practice and I couldn't believe their stability in some of the acceleration points but it obviously works the tyre hard because Shakey gets a lot of wheel spin at the end of the race.”
Despite Tyco BMW's strong start, backed up by Laverty's team-mate Christian Iddon grabbing two third place finishes, the Northern Irish rider says his squad must keep searching for gains with the BMW S1000RR as he expects the new Kawasaki ZX-10R to improve at the hands of the JG Speedfit Kawasaki squad and holds similar expectations for Ducati with his former team Paul Bird Motorsport.
“Every bike has its own strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “We know we have a strong overall package but there are a couple of little areas I'd like to take to the next step. You can't stand still as the Kawasaki and Ducati will keep improving as the year goes on so we need to keep going.
“It would have been nice to leave Silverstone with the championship lead and I felt I was plenty capable of a double but it didn't work out.”