Making its race debut in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), the new BMW M 1000 RR claimed a top-six result on the first attempt. Tom Sykes (GBR) from the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team ended race one at MotorLand Aragón in sixth place, only two seconds from a podium position. The Spanish circuit is hosting the opening round of the 2021 WorldSBK season. His team-mate Michael van der Mark (NED) came home eleventh in race one, after enduring a difficult Saturday.
In the first Superpole of the season on Saturday morning, Sykes secured a starting place on the front row of the grid; the Englishman finished third in qualifying. Van der Mark was 15th. In the morning’s free practice, van der Mark could only do one timed lap as a CAN-Bus failure occurred in the supplied tyre pressure monitoring system TMPS, mandatory by FIM, that could not be identified immediately.
Sykes lost a few positions in the first lap of the race. For long stretches of the race, he was running eighth. However, he then climbed into sixth in the closing stages, partly being the fastest rider of the field. Van der Mark moved into eleventh place early on in the race, and eventually crossed the finish line in the same position.