Loris Baz and Eugene Laverty full-time return for the Bonovo BMW Team in 2022
BMW is expanding their rider line-up with the addition of the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team in 2022.
The 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship jigsaw puzzle is nearly completed. The Frenchman Loris Baz and the Nothern Irishman Eugene Laverty will join the revitalised Bonovo action BMW Racing Team in 2022, with Michael Galinski’s team expanding its operations following season. Loris Baz will return on a full-time basis, while Eugene Laverty will remain in the BMW Motorrad family, with both sets to achieve great success next season.
Loris Baz rode a BMW S 1000 RR in the 2018 WorldSBK season, achieving 13 top-ten finishes with the best finish of sixth. Baz made his WorldSBK debut in 2012, winning at Silvertone the same year and the year after. From 2015 to 2017, he switched to MotoGP before returning to World Superbike. Seeing him on Yamaha machinery with Ten Kate Racing in 2019 and 2020, achieving podiums before racing in MotoAmerica in 2021, while making an impressive substitute for Chaz Davies in WorldSBK at Team GoEleven, finishing with two podiums.
“I’m really happy to be back in WorldSBK, so I want to thank BMW and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team for giving me this opportunity. I think that I have shown during the two rounds in Spain and Portugal that I have the pace to fight at the front in this Championship”, Loris Baz said. “BMW is the brand that grew the most in the second part of the season; I have closely watched how the bike was improving. I have been racing with BMW before, so I know a lot of people there and also, I have been competing with MGM Racing for one race back in 2012. I’m really happy and really excited about this opportunity and I’m looking forward to trying the bike and to starting to work together with the team and BMW.”
Eugene Laverty, on the other hand, remains a member of the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK family, having achieved top ten results with the all-new M 1000 RR. Laverty has won on Yamaha, Aprilia, and Suzuki machinery and has five top-ten finishes with BMW Motorrad in 2021. He has 13 race wins and 35 podiums in his WorldSBK career, the 2013 WorldSBK runner-up hopes to be a top contender in 2022.
“I’m very happy to continue with BMW Motorrad and join the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team for the 2022 World Superbike season. It’s fantastic to remain in the BMW WorldSBK family,” Eugene Laverty said. “The past six months have been tough for me as a rider, so I’m very grateful for the continued support and belief from everyone involved in this project. I’m very motivated to repay that faith in my abilities and I feel confident that following a solid winter testing campaign we can arrive ready and competitive at round one.”
BMW’s history in WorldSBK as a factory has been a success, and the manufacturer’s commitment to the championship seems clear since their return. Beginning with the S 1000 RR in 2019, Tom Sykes achieved a podium in their first year, and the factory continued their hard work in 2020. In 2021, with the all-new M 1000 RR on the grid, BMW competes not only for podiums but also a pole with Tom Skyes, and a win with Michael van der Mark; BMW’s first win in WorldSBK in eight years.
BMW will be much stronger to fight for the front after showing a great progression throughout the seasons since returning to the grid, with Scott Redding and Michael van der Mark in the factory team, Baz and Laverty joining BMW’s strength in 2022. The Bonovo Team has one top-ten finish in 2021, with Jonas Folger, who finished eighth in Aragon Race 2.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director, commented on the line-up for the Bonovo action squad: “The course is set for a successful second season together for BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team in the WorldSBK. The team and we have gained a lot of experience in the first year of our cooperation, and that now forms the basis as we continue to move forward together. The two riders starting for the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team also underline our ambition. We are very pleased that Eugene Laverty remains a part of the BMW works rider family and lines up with us in his third season. Although the 2021 season was not always easy for him, he showed a lot of fight and was very committed to our project.”
“At the same time, we are pleased to have Loris Baz on board,” continued Bongers. “Having spent a season on the BMW S 1000 RR in 2018, he is now part of the BMW works rider family. Loris has more than impressed on his WorldSBK outings this season. We are confident that, with their skill and experience, Eugene and Loris will help move the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team forward. We would like to thank Jonas Folger. It is a shame that his debut season in WorldSBK did not play out as we were all hoping. However, he and the team never gave up and always worked hard. We are very grateful to him for that tireless commitment.”
Michael Galinski, team manager for the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team added: “We’re pleased to be able to take this step together with Jürgen Röder, team owner, and are very proud of our two riders. In Eugene Laverty and Loris Baz, we have two excellent riders. Loris has started in many classes, such as MotoGP™ and WorldSBK, on many different manufacturers’ bikes, including BMW and Yamaha. He recently showed what he is capable of at the race in Portugal; two third places as a reserve rider are no mean feat. We are very pleased to have him on board.”
“Eugene has been slightly below par this year, as he was unable to ride for a long time. He is a great development rider and will help us to develop the bike together with BMW. All in all, we are now on equal footing with the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. They also have two tall riders on the bike, Michael van der Mark and Scott Redding. Loris, as the third tall guy, will be able to contribute to the development in this regard. Eugene is not quite as tall, but nevertheless, we are all moving in the same direction together. We are looking forward to the coming season!”