Eugene Laverty was yesterday confirmed as the rider for the new World Superbike RC Squadra Corsa BMW satellite team headed by Roberto Colombo, and will combine his racing commitments with that as BMW Motorrad factory test rider in 2021.
Laverty said: "It's great to finally be able to announce my plans for next season. If you want to succeed at world level nowadays continuity is the key, so a second year with BMW will definitely bring us forward.
"Thanks to BMW Motorrad and RC Squadra Corsa for this opportunity to build on what we learned in 2020, my goal being to bring them to the top step in 2021."
The 34-year-old Toomebridge rider, now based in Portugal, will enter his ninth season in WSBK and was runner-up in the 2013 Championship when riding for Aprilia. He has scored some 35 podiums in his WSBK career, including 13 victories.
Despite an injury-plagued 2019 riding for Go Eleven Ducati, a strong finish to the season saw his return to the factory ranks with BMW Motorrad for 2020, the highlight of this campaign arguably being pole position at Magny Cours in France.
RC Squadra Corsa is one of two BMW satellite squads announced yesterday to back up the factory team of Tom Sykes and Michael van der Mark, the other being the German Bonovo Action team who will have ex-MotoGP rider Jonas Folger in the saddle.
Meanwhile, record-breaking six-time world champion Jonathan Rea saw his final two-day test of 2020 cut short a day early by bad weather at Aragon in Spain as his Kawasaki Racing Team continued to evaluate the new ZX-10RR.
And, after a three-year partnership with Team #109 Kawasaki, 22-year-old Eunan McGlinchey has decided to part ways with the Cork-based outfit.
The Aghadowey rider clinched the British Junior Supersport Championship in 2018, followed a year later by a top-five finish in the British Junior Superstock 600cc series.
The team headed for the ultra-competitive World Supersport 300cc Championship this year and after a difficult season for both rider and team he has decided it is the right time to look to pastures new for 2021 and feels a possible return to the British Superbike paddock is probably the right direction.