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Laverty to retire from WSBK, take Bonovo BMW role in 2023

Eugene Laverty will retire from World Superbike competition at the end of the 2022 season and take up a management role with the Bonovo MGM BMW team next year.

Eugene Laverty, Bonovo Action BMW

Northern Irish rider Laverty will bring down the curtain on an accomplished WSBK career that has so far yielded 13 wins and 35 podiums, as well as a best championship finish of second in 2013 behind Tom Sykes.

The 35-year-old has been a member of the BMW WSBK stable since the 2020 season, initially riding for the factory team before joining the satellite Bonovo squad this year alongside Loris Baz.

Laverty said that the offer of a stake in the ownership of the team, combined with a lack of results aboard the M1000RR this season, convinced him that it was the right time to hang up his leathers.

“[Team owner] Jurgen Roder and [team manager] Michael Galinski made this proposal to me and I really appreciate that they believe I can fulfill this role," commented Laverty.

“I wanted to finish in a strong way with some decent results, but obviously after the last rounds I had to change my thinking a little bit, as I’m having some difficulties.

"I really enjoy to be part of this team though, as it’s probably the best team I’ve ever ridden in during my career. And opportunities like this don’t come along very often.

"Jurgen has been looking for some fresh blood to entrust with the future of the team, but also someone with experience. This will be a completely different path of my career. It’s going to be a very interesting new challenge for me and I’ll have a lot to learn from Jurgen and Michael.

"At the same time I want to say thank you to BMW Motorrad Motorsport for their faith in the past three years. We will stay closely related through my new role also in the future.”

 

Laverty joined WSBK with the works Yamaha team in 2011 after two seasons of finishing runner-up in World Supersport aboard Honda machinery.

He scored his first wins that season at Monza en route to fourth in the standings, but Yamaha's withdrawal from series at the end of the season led him to join Aprilia as teammate to Max Biaggi in 2012.

Laverty's second season on Aprilia machinery proved to be his WSBK zenith as he scored nine wins, but he lost out on winning the championship to Kawasaki man Sykes by 23 points.

Another switch of machinery followed in 2014 as he joined the Crescent-run Suzuki team, but besides a win in the Phillip Island opener the year proved a major disappointment as he toiled to 10th in the standings.

Laverty spent the next two years in MotoGP riding for the Aspar team, first on the uncompetitive Open class Honda before switching to Ducati machinery the following year, but he was enticed back to WSBK in 2017 by the Shaun Muir-run Milwaukee Aprilia team with the promise of works backing.

 

However, the County Antrim rider couldn't replicate his past form on the RSV4, and after two difficult seasons he moved to the Go Eleven Ducati team for a 2019 season compromised by injuries.

Laverty joined his old title rival Sykes at the works BMW team for 2020, scoring pole at Magny-Cours, but a disappointing run of form led to his seat being taken by Michael van der Mark the following year.

Instead, Laverty would ride for the satellite RC Squadra Corse team, but financial issues at the team meant he spent much of the season on the sidelines, albeit he made a return to the works squad when Sykes was injured late in the year.

Ahead of this weekend's Most round, Laverty was 15th in the riders' standings with a best finish of 10th at Aragon, having struggled to match teammate Baz since missing the Assen round due to injury.

Oettl to stay at Go Eleven in 2023

Elsewhere, it was also announced on Saturday that Philipp Oettl will stay with the Go Eleven Ducati team in 2023 as he goes into the second year of what was announced as a two-year deal.

The German rider, who stepped up from World Supersport to WSBK this year, has scored a best result of seventh so far at Assen, and was 13th in the championship ahead of this weekend's Most round.

 

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