Belfast Telegraph

Laverty set for Tyco BMW return at Sunflower Trophy

 

By Roy Harris

Tyco BMW had a positive weekend during the final round of the British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch, with Christian Iddon taking a double podium.

And the Moneymore-based Hector and Philip Neill-owned team have wasted no time in announcing that Iddon will be joined by Ulsterman Michael Laverty for the 2018 campaign.

Already a three-time winner on the TAS Racing-prepared S1000R, Laverty re-joins the team for a two-pronged attack on the prestigious British series after what could only be described as a perplexing 2017 on the McAms Yamaha, although he did show his potential during the final round at Brands.

In a bonus for local fans, Laverty will make his Tyco BMW return during the Sunflower Trophy meeting at Bishopscourt this weekend, where he will line up against the likes of defending Sunflower champion Glenn Irwin and previous winner Danny Buchan.

Laverty, himself a record six-time winner of the Sunflower, said: "I'm delighted to be returning to the Tyco BMW squad for the 2018 season. We enjoyed success together in the past, taking race wins in 2015 and 2016.

"A dip in form led to a year's sabbatical, which didn't prove fruitful, although it has made me a stronger rider.

"I'm thankful that Philip and the guys within the team have belief in my ability and looked beyond my results this year.

"To get back on board the Tyco BMW S1000R and work with the TAS engineers once again is the perfect scenario for me."

On his return to the Sunflower, the Toomebridge native added: "It's an added bonus to get back to riding the Tyco BMW at the Sunflower this week. The opportunity to begin preparations so early for next season is fantastic. I'm very motivated for the challenge ahead."

Team manager Philip Neill is delighted to have Laverty back on board.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome Michael back to Tyco BMW after previous successes together," he said.

"Michael secured our first British Supersport Championship in 2007 and our first British Superbike race win at Oulton Park in 2010.

"We enjoyed considerable success in 2016 including two race victories at Silverstone and Thruxton, although we did lose our way in the latter part of the season.

"BSB is such a competitive environment, so to ensure success there are many aspects of a team to be considered and Michael has always been a perfect fit within TAS Racing.

"In Michael and Christian, we believe we have the correct people to help us deliver further success for Tyco and BMW Motorrad."

Laverty is the most successful rider in the history of the Sunflower Trophy meeting, recording 18 wins between 2000 and 2010, including the main race a record six times (2002, '03, '04, '05, '07 and 2010).

As well as facing fellow British Superbike stars Irwin - the defending Sunflower champion and current lap record holder - and Buchan, Laverty will come up against Alastair Seeley and Carl Phillips among others.

This will be the 40th year the event will have been sponsored by Jim Finlay, and it is the 70th year that the Hillsborough Club has been in existence.

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