The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team show promising potential at Imola

11.05.19 

Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari

The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team hoped to carry some momentum going into the Superpole session this morning and with the weather almost perfect looked set to do so. But following Toms Sykes' impressive Free Practice Friday he didn't manage to get himself on the front row as he ended the session in sixth. Markus managed to make some great progress from his opening day as he put himself on the third row in P7 - just behind his teammate Sykes.

Tom taking P6 on the grid made a great start to the race as he muscled his way into fourth on the opening corner, later inheriting P3 with Chaz Davies retiring on Lap 1. Tom managed to gap the group behind with Jonathan Rea and Alvaro Bautista leading the way and looked set for podium until an unfortunate technical issue with his BMW S 1000 RR forced him to retire from the race on lap 9.

Markus Reiterberger starting from P7 didn't get his BMW S 1000 RR off the line as well as he had hoped and ended up in P13 going into T1. Sitting behind the Ducati of Michael Ruben Rinaldi he struggled to get by him. He then was able to gain some positions and eventually finished tenth.

Shaun Muir – Team Principal

“For Tom, it’s really sad..five rounds in to our first year in WorldSBK with this project and the new RR and we were not only fighting for the podium, we were on the podium, then a cruel small issue put an end to his race so I feel very, very sorry for Tom and everyone on his side of the garage because they work really hard. They’ve made a clever tyre choice that worked very well and he had a very good start and everything was there in front of him. We now must built on that and come back stronger.

Markus unfortunately had a difficult race but again, we collected good data and hopefully starting from the same grid positions in tomorrow’s Superpole race we can see what we can do.”

Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director

“The day started off really well with the Superpole qualification. Markus claimed seventh place and really showed that he had made a big leap forward from yesterday’s practice session. Tom made a great start to the race and being on his own in third place allowed him to exploit the RR’s potential. Unfortunately, an issue cropped up with the power management and Tom was unable to convert this performance into the result it deserved. We will now take a close look at what caused this problem. Markus lost a few places during the turmoil at the start and got stuck further back in the field. That made the race difficult for him, but he battled his way back and scored some important points by finishing tenth.

Overall, we have seen that we are set up well in Imola and we want to build on that tomorrow in the Superpole race and in the second race. According to the forecasts, the weather, however, could provide us with a new challenge.”

Tom Sykes (GBR)

“To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement. We’ve worked so hard all weekend and we really improved some areas on the BMW S 1000 RR. We dug deep on the start and had a good position but then unfortunately had an issue with the bike. We had the pace today, we had a bit of luck with Chaz (Davies) not being in the race and we had a top-3 position in our sight. We had a nice gap to the riders behind and I was just settling into a rhythm, the times were very consistent. It just seems we have a lot of bad luck at the moment so hopefully we’ll have a better day tomorrow.”

Markus Reiterberger (GER)

“I am really happy that we managed to improve on yesterday’s performance. We did a good job in the Superpole to secure a starting position of seventh. It was a shame that I then lost a few places at the start and during the first few corners. I was stuck behind (Michael Ruben) Rinaldi for quite a while. I was faster, but I just couldn’t get past. However, I was able to overtake a few other riders towards the end and crossed the line in 10th place. That wasn’t quite the result we had hoped for but I am confident that I will continue to improve.

We’ve still got a few issues to deal with at the moment but we will continue to work hard and I am very grateful to my team for that. Tomorrow is a new day that brings new opportunities and I hope that we can take another big step forward in the warm-up. Of course, we will have to keep an eye on the weather but I think that we can do a good job. We certainly have the potential to do that.”

A difficult final day of racing for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team in Portimão.
A day of mixed fortune for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team in Portimão.
Tom Sykes to remain with the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team for 2020

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