Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
The chequered flag for the Superpole race on Sunday morning at Portimão (POR) was greeted with boundless celebrations in the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team pit area. Michael van der Mark (NED) won the race on his BMW M 1000 RR and the team celebrated the first win for BMW Motorrad Motorsport since returning to the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). The result marks the next important milestone for the project. Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad, was at Portimão for the race weekend and was the first to offer his congratulations.
Van der Mark was already on fast form during the rainy warm-up session, posting the best time on Sunday morning. The rain had stopped in time for the Superpole race but the circuit had not dried out. Starting from fifth on the grid, van der Mark had already moved up to third by the end of lap one. He then passed Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR / Yamaha) and moved into second place on lap two. On the next lap, he left Scott Redding (GBR / Ducati) behind to take the lead. Van der Mark never looked likely to surrender his lead, claiming the long-awaited first win after ten laps – fully 5.330 seconds ahead of his rivals.
Having won the Superpole race, van der Mark started the afternoon’s second race from pole position. That race took place in sunny conditions on a dry surface. However, a technical issue prevented him from mounting a real attack and he completed the second race in sixth place.
Eugene Laverty (IRL), racing in place of Tom Sykes (GBR) again at Portimão, moved up from 13th on the grid to ninth position in the Superpole race. In the afternoon’s second race, he crossed the line in tenth place.
The eleventh round of the season at Portimão marks the end of the European season in the WorldSBK 2021. The racing continues in two weeks with the penultimate event of the season in Argentina, while the finale will take place in Indonesia in November.
Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad: “It is something special to secure the first win for a project like this. I also think that we as a team have deserved this, and it shows that we are heading in the right direction. We are all proud of this win, which is an important step for the project that we are aiming to develop gradually. Congratulations to Michael van der Mark, the entire BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and everyone involved in this success. I would like to thank them all for their efforts and their hard work.”