Michael Laverty says his main focus of improvement on his Tyco BMW is finding better grip stability on the side of the tyre under acceleration as he looks to maintain his MCE British Superbike Showdown charge.
The Northern Irish rider has spent the past two weeks supporting brother Eugene Laverty in MotoGP at Le Mans before flying to Sepang to spot for brother-in-law Chaz Davies in World Superbikes.
Speaking to Crash.net
in Sepang, the BSB rider says he's thrilled to demonstrate the Tyco BMW's improved throttle connection and is now aiming to make gains with grip stability heading to round three at Brands Hatch.
“I think I can go to every track this year and be in a position to fight for race wins so we've got a really good package and I'm in a really good place, experience-wise, fitness-wise, plus the continuity of same bike, same team and same crew,” Laverty said. “Everything is where I want it to be so I think I can put on a good title fight.
“The biggest improvement is the throttle connection as I struggled with that a lot last year. With the BSB rules you remove the standard ECU from BMW and put the MoTeC system on. With the fly-by-wire throttle it took a lot of time to dial that in to get the feeling to ride the throttle and I didn't have that and struggled.
“I'm quite smooth opening the throttle and if you don't have a connection with where it is at it makes life difficult. We got an answer with that before Assen last year with a new swingarm from the old factory BMW team of Melandri and Davies from 2013. What was developed then we used and it was good for me and it is what the factory BMWs are using right now in World Superbikes.
“Going forward the electronics will be a constant evolution but the chassis I think we can improve the rear, it is not grip but grip but grip stability when you go to accelerate. That is where the Ducati, Kawasaki and Yamaha last year have an advantage on us. We've got very good drive grip on the flatter part of the tyre but that transition from side to upright is what we need. We've got ideas and are working on it.”
Working to refine the BMW S1000RR ultimately for the Showdown, Laverty is confident he can head into the season finale in a much stronger position than last year when he failed to collect a single podium credit during the regular season.
Laverty has currently notched up five podium credits thanks to his win at Silverstone in the season opener and is aiming to battle back this weekend around the Indy configuration of the Brands Hatch circuit.
“Although we've got the best overall package at the moment I think the rest will catch up so we can't stay stagnant and need to get to the Showdown in as strong a position as we can with podium credits,” he said. “That's what we were lacking last year and we were also lacking a couple of tenths per lap in the Showdown but now we've got that.”