WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team prepared for the final two races of the weekend today under the hot and sunny conditions at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Tom Sykes lined up in P4 for the 10 lap sprint race with team mate Markus Reiterberger respectively on the fourth row in P11.
Sykes got off to a good start slotting into P3 just behind #1 of Jonathan Rea as Alvaro Bautista yet again crashed out at T2. Despite the good start the race would be prematurely ended following a crash at the top of the corkscrew including Alessandro Delbianco and US wildcard JD Beach. The race would be restarted however with the laps now reduced from 10 to 8. Again Sykes got off to a good start with Rea and Davies leading the away. Sykes managed to maintain P3 for the duration claiming his third podium of the season in P3. Reiterberger similarly got a decent start to the race as he found himself in a battle for the top 10, however slightly missed out on the top ten positions as he brought his BMW S 1000 RR home in P12.
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. Sykes took his improved position on the grid in P3 with Markus Reiterberger in P12. As the race got underway it would again be Chaz Davies and Jonathan Rea who would check out from the rest of the field. Toprak Razgatlıoğlu, Sykes and Lowes rode for the final rostrum position from the early stages however despite Toms effort Toprak seemed to have that extra bit of pace and gapped Sykes now with Alex Lowes closing in on him or P4. On lap 14 Tom made a mistake which allowed Lowes by him which upset the rhythm of the Yorkshireman. Tom found some late pace and took almost 1.5 second out of Lowes in the closing laps but the laps ran out and Tom finished his race in P5.
Markus equally got off to a solid start and found himself in P14 come the end of lap 1. Reiterberger from then on out found himself in a three-way battle with the two Ducatis of Eugene Laverty, Michael Ruben Rinaldi and the Yamaha of Sandro Cortese. The German rider Reiterberger eventually bought his RR home in a credible P13 gaining some valuable points.
As the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team concludes the Geico US they will now enter the well-deserved 7-week summer break ahead of the next round at Portimao, Portugal (06-08 SEP)
Shaun Muir – Team Principal
“Tom claimed a great result in today’s sprint race. He rode really well; to take the third position and a front row start for race two was a solid performance all around. In the race, as we hoped, he had a pretty good start, only Toprak got in front of him, he slotted in and was in a solid fourth position. He rode a good race. Alex Lowes got by him after he made a mistake and then he recovered well. He dropped two seconds and pulled that right back. If there had been another lap he probably would have got fourth back. So it was great progress by Tom and they can go into the summer break happy.
Markus had a reasonably good day. The sprint race showed more progression but I was even more happy in the second race. He rode some pretty good lap times and overall it was a big improvement on his race one result. So overall we can be pleased going back home and we can make a plan exactly what we need to focus on in the next phase of the development of the bike.”
Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
“That was a good day to round off a great weekend – a podium in the Superpole race and then another solid performance and fifth place for Tom in the second race. Markus was able to improve throughout the day and close the gap to the riders in front. We have some homework to do and we won’t see our competitors again before the tests at Portimão at the end of August. A large part of the team is now heading for some well-deserved vacation time. We can be very pleased with the season so far as we have clearly exceeded our expectations.”
Tom Sykes (GBR)
“We’ve come away again with a bag full of top-5 finishes, including a podium in the sprint race. Overall it was a very productive weekend for the whole BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. The bike seems to be not getting the best from the tyres at the moment but we got a lot of information this weekend, having said that it was a complete different story at the end of that Race 2, we had a lot of pace and I closed the gap to Alex Lowes so that’s certainly positive to take with us.
We now have the summer break coming up so it’s just cool that at the right time we got a lot of information at the weekend and hopefully now the guys in the team can put this to good use. There are still areas to work on but overall the whole package is quite promising and having three podiums at the last three rounds is not too bad against these experienced manufacturers. I’m enjoying riding, have a great relationship with the team and BMW and it’s needless to say that we are heading in the right direction. I think everybody has seen that the progress we’ve made from the opening round until now has been quite impressive.”
Markus Reiterberger (GER)
“The restart in the Superpole race was great. I made up a few places and crossed the line in a decent twelfth position. For the second race, we chose different tyres to yesterday. They were reliable for the first 15 laps but then there was a big drop with lots of movement and then it was just about getting to the finish. Unfortunately, that meant I lost two places. I did have my eye on the top ten but I missed out on that, however, we did score a few points. I had hoped for more from the weekend as I know that I can do much better. That’s why I’m hoping we can find a way for me to attack properly with the bike and go really fast. We have to continue working on it and then the breakthrough will come. I would like to thank the team as they gave it everything again this weekend.“