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BMW Motorrad Motorsport

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, 11/06/2019, FIM Superbike World Championship

Another top-five finish in WorldSBK

The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team at Jerez de la Frontera

The sixth round of the 2019 WorldSBK was scheduled for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and riders, Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger, at the weekend. On this occasion, they claimed another top-five finish with the new BMW S 1000 RR: Sykes was fifth in Sunday’s Superpole Race. We sum up the race action and the reactions.

The race action

Sykes landed his RR in sixth place on the grid in Saturday morning’s Superpole qualifying. Reiterberger started from 14th. Sykes improved to fourth at the start but dropped back a bit in turn one. He was running seventh until the final lap when he regained sixth place. Reiterberger climbed two places at the start and then set his sights on a top-ten finish. In the end, he took the chequered flag in eleventh place, just seven-tenths of a second behind the rider in tenth place.

Sykes then claimed fifth position in Sunday morning’s Superpole Race. That result meant he started the afternoon’s second main race from fifth on the grid. Reiterberger ended the Superpole Race in 15th place. When Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri collided in front of Sykes on lap six, Sykes moved up into fourth place, however, he then dropped several positions after a mistake on lap nine. The race was then suspended on lap 18 following a crash and Sykes was classified in seventh place. Like Sykes, Reiterberger struggled for grip in the main race and eventually came home twelfth.

Misano hosts the next round of the 2019 WorldSBK season in two weeks. The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team is familiar with the circuit, having tested there in the run-up to Jerez de la Frontera.

Reactions after the races at Jerez de la Frontera

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. Tom once again did a good job of exploiting the potential of the RR. Markus also made good progress after a difficult Friday. But given the fact that some of the top riders failed to finish, we should have been capable of far better results in Sunday’s second 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, the development of the new RR continues and we hope to be able to take the next step at Misano.”

Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team:
“It was a very productive Saturday for Markus. We introduced quite a major change for him overnight and he adapted very well to that, so I am very pleased for him. He took that into the race on Saturday. Of course, the top ten would have been nice but eleventh was also a good finish. Tom on the other hand had a good Superpole. We got on the front two rows of the grid which was positive. He got a good start but got pushed back then. He literally circled all race in that position and then inherited one place in the end. On Sunday, the Superpole race was really strong from Tom. We were really happy with that fifth position which set him up for a good start in the main race. That second 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 Sunday. So after a promising start to the weekend the Sunday did not go too well but we will come back stronger at Misano.”

Tom Sykes:
“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:
“I was really happy with the Saturday. Friday was a pretty complicated day for all of us and my team worked really hard and gave me a completely different bike today. I am really grateful to them. The goal was to be within the top ten, which we narrowly missed, but we made some progress. That is the most important thing. Unfortunately, the changes we made on Sunday 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.”

Results FIM Superbike World Championship, Jerez de la Frontera:

Race 1:

6th Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)
11th Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)

Superpole Race:

5th Tom Sykes
15th Markus Reiterberger

Race 2:

7th Tom Sykes
12th Markus Reiterberger