WSB: Eugene Laverty and Jonas Folger join BMW Satellite teams for 2021
Eugene Laverty and Jonas Folger have secured places on the 2021 World Superbike grid after signing for two new BMW satellite teams.
Laverty has joined the RC Squadra Corse team, whilst Folger will line-up for the Bonovo Action squad. Laverty's 2021 role also includes being the BMW test driver after he was involved in the development of the new BMW M1000 RR which both satellite teams will be running, as well as the factory team.
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The 34-year-old rode for the factory BMW team last season but lost his spot to Michael van der Mark, whilst Tom Sykes remains for 2021. Laverty ended 2020 15th in the championship with a best result of eighth.
The RC Squadra Corse team have been in the WSB paddock for a number of years and were podium finishers in the Supersport class in 2020.
Meanwhile, Folger becomes a full-time WSB rider after two impressive wildcards onboard the Bonovo Action team's Yamaha. The partnership dominated in the German superbike championship this year, winning all eight races.
Folger returns to the world stage after being forced to step aside from MotoGP due to being diagnosed with Gilbert's Syndrome. The German also has Moto3 and Moto2 experience and achieved a best of second for the Tech3 Yamaha MotoGP team at the Sachsenring. He was later hired as Yamaha's European test rider but was removed from that role after only a handful of appearances.
The Bonovo Action Team is the first German team to register to compete in WSB with a Bavarian rider on a Bavarian motorbike.
"We are really looking forward to the partnership with Bonovo Action and RC Squadra Corse," BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director, Marc Bongers, said. "The cooperation with these two teams allows us to diversify our WorldSBK project even more and they will communicate closely with the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team.
"The benefit for us is that we can access yet more collective feedback. The teams are also very strong as far as the riders are concerned. Jonas Folger and Eugene Laverty are not just fast, but their many years of experience allow them to make important contributions to the further development of the BMW M1000 RR. It is great that Eugene will still be on board, and to welcome Jonas to the BMW family.”