Losail International Circuit
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Teams season today came to end following the 13 round Championship across the globe. Tom Sykes re-took his fourth position on the grid ahead of the 10 lap Superpole race, Reiterberger in P9. Sykes didn’t make the best of starts to the race and found himself down in seventh after lap 1. Tom struggled to match the pace of the front runners throughout and slipped down the order lap after lap – final position P12. Markus Reiterberger looking to replicate his impressive performance in Race 1 yesterday unfortunately didn’t make the start he was hoping for, dropping into P12 on the opening lap. Similar to his teammate, Markus struggled to maintain his pace and finished the sprint race in P15.
The final 17 lap race of the season soon approached with Sykes taking his new reformed position on the grid in P10, Reiterberger alongside him in P11. Reiterberger got off the line well however ran out wide at T1, loosing multiple places. Markus then found himself in battle with Michael Ruben Rinaldi and managed to make a move on him on lap 14.– Markus Reiterbergers’ final race position of 2019 ended in P14.
Sykes, who has struggled with race pace all weekend looked to make amends in his final race of the year. Sykes started his race in reasonable fashion holding P9 for the opening stages of the race. He slipped back a further three places in the latter stages to bring his BMW home in P12 in his final outing of the season.
The 2019 World Superbike Championship season has been a year of many highs and lows for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team but most importantly a successful year of development. Tom Sykes ends his season P8 in the standing with 223 points, claiming 4 podiums and 1 pole position. Markus Reiterberger finishes the 2019 season in P14 with 83 points to his name.
Shaun Muir - Team Principal
"A tough day today, we didn’t make much progress from the first day on track Thursday and has been a difficult weekend ever since. We felt we had some momentum from Magny – Cours going into Argentina which didn’t turn out positive and that has followed us really into Qatar where we have been chasing a set-up. Markus on paper looked like he was having a good weekend, he had good pace in race 1 and into the Superpole race but unfortunately, could not convert this into a strong position today.
Tom equally suffered after the Race 1 crash, the Superpole race was disappointing and couldn’t find the balance nor momentum which continued into the rest of his weekend so sadly we are signing off in Qatar not where we hoped to be. However, on a whole we have achieved our targets of 2019 in what have been a successful first development season so onward and upwards for 2020."
Marc Bongers - BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
“Of course, that was not quite how we had hoped to round off the season. However, we continue to struggle to adapt to changing conditions, as we saw in these fluctuating temperatures. That is one of the areas that we will have to work on. We were able to collect more valuable information during this weekend in Qatar, which we will be able to use during the winter break as we prepare for next season. Overall, we feel positive about how it went. From the start, we viewed 2019 as a year for learning and we did record four podiums, one pole position and many top 6 finishes. That is something to be pleased about and we can build on this next season.
I would like to thank the entire BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team and our riders Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger. Everyone has been working hard since the project got going. No-one gave up after any setbacks and that ensured that this was a successful debut season. Thanks to everyone for that. Markus is now bidding farewell to the team – I would like to wish him all the best for the future.”
Tom Sykes (GBR)
"It’s not the way I would have liked to end the season given the results that we have had previously. We have arrived at a circuit where you are in the corner for a long time which is an area on the bike that we need to work on. So, overall a very disappointing weekend to end 2019. On a whole with the new project to finish eight in the championship is relatively good considering there is six factory bikes from different manufacturers with a lot more experience. On a whole we have had some very strong showings, we have shown the potential of the BMW S 1000 RR and the relationship with the new team has worked well. Going into the winter I would like to think that the information the team gathered can be put into development and ultimately a better starting point for next season."
Markus Reiterberger (GER)
“We did adjust the bike a little for the warm-up and the session went really well for me. I was in third place for a long time and finished the session in fourth place. That felt fantastic. However, the first turn in both races put paid to my hopes a bit, although I had started well both times.
In the main race, I got trapped between two riders on turn one. I had to take evasive action, which forced me to go wide and cost me a few places. After that, it was a pretty lonely race for me until the finish, but I did manage to overtake three riders and score some points in the end. At least I did have some renewed impetus on my final weekend with the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team, which helps me to feel a bit better before the break. We had a great time and I would like to thank everyone for giving me this opportunity. I wish the project every success and I hope to be able to contribute something to it again in the future.”