Circuito De Jerez
The final day of the Acerbis Spanish Round arrived on us here at the Circuito De Jerez in hope of another solid string of results for both Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger.
Resuming race proceedings this afternoon the BMW duo lined up on the grid ahead of the 10 lap Tissot Superpole sprint race, Sykes in P5 and Reiterberger P14.
Tom looked to replicate his previous race getaway in Race 1 and did just that tipping into T1 maintaining his P5. Sykes looked settled during the course of the race and in the final stages of the race found himself battling with Leon Haslam for fifth position. As a result, Tom Sykes managed to edge out Haslam to bring his BMW S 1000 RR home in P5, equaling his season best finish to date for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team.
Markus didn’t get the best of starts to the Sprint race as he started from P14 and slipped down a position to P15 at the end of lap 1. Markus found himself in battle for the final point with Honda’s Yuki Takahashi and Englishman Tommy Bridewell throughout the sprint race however struggled to get by them, Markus Reiterberger finished his race in P15 taking 1 point from Sundays opening race.
Race 2 vastly approached us and the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team were again back on the grid ready for the final race of the weekend. Drama on the opening two laps saw Alvaro Bautista and Alex Lowes crash out on the second lap, promoting Sykes up to P5. However, the drama didn’t end there as a controversial move from Marco Melandri colliding with #7 of Chaz Davies meant both of them were out the race, Sykes now looking a potential podium sitting in P4.
Sykes again found himself in a battle with Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam however with Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Sandro Cortese closing in he would soon be pushed back into P7. Sykes couldn’t find the pace in the closing laps to mount a challenge on the guys ahead and ended his race in P7 due a red flag on the penultimate lap.
Looking to improve on his P15 earlier in the day Markus Reiterberger took his position on the grid in P14. Markus equally got off to a good start as he gained two places on the opening lap, and with Bautista, Lowes, Davies and Melandri all crashing Markus found himself sitting in P10 in the early stages of the race. On lap 7 Frenchman Loris Baz managed to get by Markus along with Leandro Mercardo and Tommy Bridewell in the latter stages, meaning Reiterberger finished his race in P12.
After an encouraging weekend here in Spain the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team look forward to Round 7 of the FIM Motul World Superbike Championship to continue their development of the new BMW S 1000 RR.
Shaun Muir – Team Principal
“The Superpole race was really strong from Tom. He was on the SCX which was good for the race distance. We were really happy with that fifth position which set him up for a good start in the main race. That main race was quite difficult for Tom as he was suffering from lack of grip. His lap times were quicker than in race one but that also was the case with everyone else. He finished P7 but without the retirements in the field it would have been probably more a P10. Equally for Markus, he had a difficult day. So after a promising start to the weekend the Sunday did not go too well but we will come back stronger at Misano.”
Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
“We can see the progress we are continuously making with the new BMW S 1000 RR. For various reasons, however, we are still unable to convert this progress into corresponding results in all the races. That is why we had such a mixed weekend at Jerez. Given the fact that some of the top riders failed to finish, we should have been capable of far better results in today’s main race. However, both riders had grip issues. We will now analyse that and find out what caused it. On the plus side, Tom was able to score some valuable points and Markus’ feel for the bike improved. We have to build on that now. At the same time, development of the new RR continues and we hope to be able to take the next step at Misano.”
Tom Sykes (GBR)
“All things considered, I really feel that we had a decent set of results. I’m a little bit disappointed with race two. I had a big moment in the fast last right hander. I lost the front with 170 km/h and the slide was over fifty metres so it was lucky that we were able to save it. I was able to catch up with the guys again but wasn’t able to pass. Overall, I think we had some decent results given where we are with the performance of the engine. We’re continuing to collect information for moving forward.
So now my expectations are to keep the program developing towards the podium. That’s the ultimate target. When you look at the team, the manufacturer and the riders, we have high potential but obviously just for now we need to sit back and understand what we’ve got in this little gap and hopefully for Misano we can have another step forward.”
Markus Reiterberger (GER)
“Unfortunately, the changes we made today for the Superpole race and the main race did not help as much as we had hoped. I had a great start in the second race and felt super on the bike in the opening laps. I was easily able to match the pace of the front-runners. However, I then started to lose grip on the rear wheel and it was tough to hang on to twelfth place. The result is obviously not what we wanted. However, we made a few findings again and gathered some information. We will continue to work hard and I am now looking forward to Misano. Before then, I will attempt to find out how I can possibly change my riding style and we will analyse the data to see what we can do to the bike.”