Circuito De Navarra
The first race day of the debut FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) event at Navarra, Spain, has come to an end. Tom Sykes (GBR) from the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team gave a strong performance in Saturday morning’s Superpole on his BMW M 1000 RR, claiming third place to secure a spot on the front row of the grid. Sykes finished the afternoon’s race in sixth position. His team-mate Michael van der Mark (NED) crossed the line in seventh. Jonas Folger (GER) from the Bonovo MGM Racing team was also in the points, finishing 14th.
1:36.546 minutes was the lap time recorded by Sykes in the morning’s Superpole qualification. That enabled him to take the lead for a brief period before finishing the 15-minute session with third place, on the front row of the grid secured. Van der Mark ended the hard-fought qualifying session in tenth position. Folger qualified in 14th place. A special surprise lay in wait for van der Mark on the grid later when BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Marc Bongers and Shaun Muir, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team Principal, presented the new father with a BMW Babyracer.
Air temperatures had already reached 24 degrees Celsius by late morning, climbing to over 30 degrees by the time the race began. Sykes fell back a little in the turmoil at the start but then maintained sixth position for the duration of the 23-lap race. He was within striking distance of the top five for some time, but the gap then grew larger. Van der Mark was able to get into eighth before moving up to seventh on lap seven, where he remained until reaching the finish line. Folger dropped back after losing ground at the start, however he moved up to 14th as the race progressed to secure a points finish.