BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team inside the top 10 on day 1 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. #CatalanWorldSBK

17/09/21 
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team today returned to the Catalan track for Round 9 of the FIM World Superbike Championship. Tom Sykes, fresh from his one-day test last month, was fast out of the blocks in FP1 and seemed to have his BMW M 1000 RR dialed in as he finished in P3. His fastest lap coming in at a 1’42.608. Teammate Michael van der Mark equally had a good first outing this morning putting himself into the top 8 with a best lap of a 1’42.863, just +0.494 behind Toprak Razgatlioglu in P1.

This afternoons FP2 session unfortunately saw Tom Sykes crash at T5, which meant he lost a lot of valuable track time early on. Fortunately, the team did a fantastic job in getting Tom out for the final 12 minutes. Sykes, unphased by his fall, was still setting fast lap times leaving him in P5 come the checkered flag, however P4 on combined session times. Michael struggled in his final session as he slipped outside the top 10 places. Despite that he still finished P8 on combined times after the opening day.

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SHAUN MUIR

TEAM PRINCIPAL

“FP1 in the cooler track conditions gave us our fastest time which we shouldn’t be too disappointed with in fourth and eighth. Both guys really struggled with grip in FP2 which we always knew we would do in the higher track conditions. Mickey shuffled down the pack a little bit and was struggling with the balance of the bike. This has been a big compromise for us, whatever we change to gain in lap time we lose grip with, so this will hurt us long distance, but I think we will make a step forward and I believe that Mickey will step up tomorrow. Tom has been quick in FP1 and FP2. Unfortunately, he had quite a fast crash in FP2 and caused quite a lot of damage to the bike so we lost a lot of time there getting that fixed and out again. Huge credit to our boys, they got him back out with 12 minutes remaining and he then put in a good couple of runs together. But overall, not too bad a day. Let’s come back tomorrow stronger and see what the weather does and hopefully make a step towards that podium.”

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TOM SYKES

“We started this morning to just to understand some base things and the different tyre options from Pirelli, so I was surprised with our pace. In FP2 we went back to a tyre combination and set-up we ran here at the test and straight away it was giving some slightly different feedback and unfortunately on my second flying lap I crashed at T5 with no warning. Taking a positive from this we now understand a certain tyre combination and the guys did an incredible job again in getting me back out on track. The bike took a long time in getting back to the box but in terms of them boys getting it fixed it was pretty impressive. We went back out and immediately improved our afternoon session time and again in that top 5. We did want to have a look at the geometry settings but with the crash we didn’t get time to do this but overall, all things considered we have had a good Friday and we are ready for tomorrow with whatever weather conditions we face.”

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MICHAEL VAN DER MARK

“Today wasn’t too bad to be honest. We have been trying to find more turning and more grip on the exit of the turn which had been our issue quite often. This morning I had an okay feeling with the bike and this afternoon we tried to improve it in the hotter conditions and in my final outing I felt like we did however on used tyres. I am confident we had found something for tomorrow, but we still need to find a couple of tenths to be where we want to be.”

 

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