Highs and lows for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team at Saturday’s WorldSBK race in Estoril. #ESTORILWORLDSBK

29.05.21
Circuito Estoril

The second round of the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) season is taking place in Estoril, Portugal. It was a Saturday of highs and lows for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. In race one, Michael van der Mark (NED) worked his way up to seventh place with his BMW M 1000 RR. His team-mate Tom Sykes (GER) secured 14th position.

In the morning, Sykes claimed fifth place on the grid in Superpole qualification, van der Mark was classified 12th. In the race, van der Mark showed a consistent performance and was able to make gradual progress after starting from 12th. He reached seventh position by the halfway point of the race and was able to maintain this until the chequered flag. Team-mate Sykes was in sixth position right after the start of the race, but the British rider started to fall back after the second lap. After 21 laps, he crossed the finishing line in 14th place.

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MARC BONGERS

BMW MOTORRAD MOTORSPORT DIRECTOR

“That was a mixed day for us, but nonetheless I am very pleased with Michael’s seventh place. Estoril is always a tricky circuit for us and we had some lost track time to make up for. It was pretty difficult to choose between the ‘X’ and ‘SC0’ tyres today. We took the safe option with both riders. Ultimately, that proved to be the right choice and we produced a solid race. However, seventh place is, of course, not what we are aiming for. Tom fell back a very long way. Now we have to analyse the reasons for this. He lost three or four seconds during the opening laps. Of course, it is very disappointing to finish 14th, 36 seconds behind the winner. That is definitely not our objective. In conclusion: It is good to have recorded a solid race and we can build on this for tomorrow.”

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TOM SYKES

“It was a very strange race. I am disappointed. We got a good start and I just tried to go with the guys in front, but every time I opened the gas I lost rear traction. And after a few laps I was losing the rear on corner entry. After making a good start and mixing it in T1 I thought I would get my best rhythm of the weekend, but it wasn’t to be. We clearly need to work on these issues tonight and see what we can do but, yes, it was a very strange race from my side. It was not what we have been expecting and I’m quite disappointed.”

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MICHAEL VAN DER MARK

“We lost some valuable track time again this morning, so that was not how we wanted to start the day. But anyway, in Superpole I felt good; I improved my lap time and then in qualifying I had really good first three sectors, but then the tyre was gone so I could not gain any time in the last sector. That was a pity because that meant starting initially from P14, which was then P12. I had a really good start and the race was my first long run this weekend. I was surprised by the pace I had and with the consistency of the bike. I am happy with this position, but I am happier with the consistency we had and also when I changed some electronics during the race. We took a really good step forward. I am happy with P7 but even more about the whole pace.”

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