TT Assen Circuit
The two riders from the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team showed fighting spirit to deliver convincing performances once again in Sunday’s race in the FIM Superbike World Championship at Assen (NED). In the Superpole race, Tom Sykes (GBR) put on a thrilling chase to move up from 18th to seventh place. In the afternoon, Michael van der Mark (NED) overcame difficulties during race two to improve by five places and secure another top result by finishing sixth. After his crash on Saturday, the race doctors did not grant clearance for Jonas Folger (GER) from the BMW satellite team Bonovo MGM Racing to compete on Sunday.
After some heavy rainfall, there was still water on and around the circuit in the morning, causing the warm-up session to be postponed by 50 minutes. The start of the morning’s Superpole race was then also pushed back by ten minutes. The track was then dry, but conditions still proved to be treacherous in places. Sykes once again gave a fantastic chase. Starting from 18th on the grid, he moved up ten positions with his BMW M 1000 RR on the first lap and secured seventh place on lap four. That was where he finished the sprint race, claiming seventh spot on the grid for the afternoon’s second race. Van der Mark also made a good start from ninth only to take a fall a short time later. This put him eleventh on the grid for race two.
At the start of the second race, two riders collided at the front in turn one – while van der Mark was able to leap forward six places to move into fifth. Sykes claimed seventh position on lap one, but then fell back a little. Van der Mark also lost some time. During the second half of the race, van der Mark and Sykes were then involved in a duel lying in eighth and ninth places, all while closing in on the top six. Events took a dramatic turn coming into the final lap; van der Mark was able to overtake two rivals and secure sixth place, while Sykes took a tumble. He was able to rejoin the race and finished 15th to score a point.
Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad, was at Assen to experience the race weekend on site. “It was super to be back again,” said Schramm on Sunday afternoon. “I hadn’t been here for over a year and I really missed it. It was also the first time that I had seen the new BMW M 1000 RR in action in the WorldSBK. It was great to see the BMW family again and to view the progress that we have made with the M RR. That is what made it a good weekend.”
BMW Motorrad Motorsport can now look forward to a first in two weeks’ time; Most, in the Czech Republic, will host the WorldSBK for the first time when the sixth event of the season takes place there from 6th to 8th August.