A day of mixed fortune for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team in Assen. #NLDWORLDSBK

24/07/21
TT Assen Circuit

The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team did not have the best start to this mornings FP3 session as Michael van der Mark missed the full session due to a mechanical issue, putting him on the backfoot for Superpole.

As Superpole approached the bad fortune continued, however on the other side of the garage with Tom Sykes. On his opening lap he discovered a small technical issue which forced him to miss majority of the session. Despite his best efforts in returning the bike to the box he missed out on setting a fast qualifying lap by thousandths of a second with a lap that would have placed him on the front row in P2. Unfortunately, Tom started from the back of the grid as a result. Teammate Michael struggled to match the pace of the front runners as he put himself in P9 for the start of Race 1 after trying to set another fast lap on an expired “Q-tyre”

In Race 1, Michael initially got a difficult start on his BMW M 1000RR wheelieing off the line but throughout the race was running a fast pace and lap by lap was climbing the leaderboard with 3rd position in his sights. Unfortunately, with 2 laps from the end the red flag was brought out prematurely ending the race.
Sykes had his work cut out starting from the back of the grid however had the speed to battle his way through the pack. With the help from some crashes Tom worked his way into P7 collecting a valuable 9 points for his efforts.

Slide

SHAUN MUIR

TEAM PRINCIPAL

“Both riders really showed their fighting spirit. After having missed this morning’s FP3, Michael struggled a bit in Superpole to make best use of his tyre so he did a really good job to put it on the third row of the grid. Tom sadly had a technical issue, and to miss the chequered flag by so narrowly and his lap which would have put him second on the grid not counting really was cruel luck for him. So he had to start from the back. But both riders did a fantastic job in the race. Michael lost a lot of time coming together with Lucas Mahias in a typical first corner melee but fought back very well. I think I it wasn’t for that he could have been in the battle for the podium positions because finishing just a bit more of a second behind when the red flag came out showed how much progress he had made. And equally Tom came through very well from the grid. We will take that result and build on that. Tomorrow is another day and overall it has been a good job in the circumstances. I am very proud of the guys and all the hard work they have done on and off the track. We are looking forward to tomorrow.”

Slide

MARC BONGERS

BMW MOTORRAD MOTORSPORT DIRECTOR

“The most important thing is that Jonas is doing pretty well after that fall. That was a day of mixed feelings for us. We had to switch Michael’s engine in the morning and he was unable to participate in the third free practice session. We had a technical problem with Tom during qualifying. We were able to fix that and he still recorded a fast lap, which would have been good enough for second place but the lap was not classified as he crossed the line just shortly after the end of the session meaning that he started from 20th on the grid. After missing out on practice, Michael put in a good lap to secure ninth place in qualifying. Jonas was doing really well and it was great to see him placed so high up. At the start of the race, Michael was pushed wide on turn one and fell back to 13th place, but he recovered from that very quickly and finished fourth in the end, 1.2 seconds away from the podium. That was a really strong performance, which we had not expected after this morning. Tom also rode a very good race after starting at the back. In the second half of the race, he was the fastest rider out there with his lap times. Starting from sixth on the grid, Jonas was able to keep pace very well and we could see that the work had paid off. Unfortunately, he crashed out on one of the fastest corners on this circuit and slid under the air-fence. We were glad to get the news that he is doing well after some initial examinations. We will start from the same positions tomorrow but if we produce the same level of performance in the race as we did today, we are well set to aim for a podium finish.”

Slide

TOM SYKES

“It has been a little bit of a character building day. We have been unlucky in Superpole and that set the scene for the opening race today. We had a slight technical issue; fair play to the marshals who brought the bike back. The boys did an unbelievable job to get me back out there and we managed to get a lap in which was good enough for second position on the grid but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Then at the start of the race, we made an acceptable first lap and away we went. Unfortunately we had some limitations, I feel we had an issue which made it difficult for me to consistently make the apex. We will check that and again, we understand the bike a little bit more. For tomorrow we will make some changes. Overall, it was again a strong showing from BMW from a not so good start position. Michael rode a very strong race and it is just proof that we have been working hard.”

Slide

MICHAEL VAN DER MARK

“It was a tough Saturday, to be honest. This morning, I did not do any laps as we had a mechanical problem and so we went straight into Superpole. We thought we can do two laps with the qualifying tyre but I could just do one so it was quite tough. P9 on the grid wasn’t great, and also my start was not the best. I had some wheelieing and lost some positions there, then I got a bit of wrangling with another rider going into turn one and the first lap wasn’t really clean, but then straight away I had a good pace and I managed to pass some riders one by one. At the end I had a similar pace as the guys in front of me who were fighting for the podium but I just could not get any closer. We need to find a little bit extra grip to have the pace so I can battle with them.”

 

SPONSOR FAMILY