Both BMW riders finished in the top ten with Tom Sykes finishing in fifth and Eugene Laverty in seventh place
After showing strong pace in two days of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team would have had reasons for optimism heading into the Acerbis Catalunya Round for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s first visit to the circuit, with both riders finishing inside the top seven in Race 2.
While the weekend was not completely plain sailing for the BMW outfit, with Tom Sykes retiring from Race 1 and finishing ninth in the Tissot Superpole Race after starting from third and Eugene Laverty finishing just outside the top ten in both Race 1 and the Tissot Superpole Race. Both riders were able to show strong pace in Race 2 to secure top seven finishes, with Sykes in fifth and Laverty in tenth.
Reacting to his season-best finish with seventh place, Laverty said: “I made a good start to get up from 12th on the grid to get myself up to seventh, I think, at the end of Lap 1. That made things a little bit easier and I just hung in there. It was a tough race; I had a strange vibration all race coming from front and rear. The tyre moved on the wheel and then it made it difficult to stop the bike. Disappointed in that respect because I felt the potential was much more.”
Sykes also secured his season-best finish of 2020 when he crossed the line in fifth place. He said: “It’s been a refreshing change to get some nice, consistent laps under our belt this afternoon. To be honest, it was nice. I didn’t have the pace in the beginning, I couldn’t get the mechanical grip of what the other guys had. What we were able to do was play with our riding a little bit, play with the electronic strategies and just try and make a consistent race and I think that’s what we did. It’s been great to get that information. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get the big race under our belt on Saturday because we’ve obviously learnt a lot from that today, but I think fifth position considering our issues this weekend is a step in the right direction.”
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