Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
The Final day of racing here at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve arose and again the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Teams’ Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger lined up in P2 and P9 respectively ahead of the 10 lap sprint race. Tom Sykes got off the line in good fashion and aggressively held second position turning into turns 1 – 3. Sykes maintained P2 for the next 3 laps until a charging Alex Lowes passed him on lap 4. On lap 5, Haslam made a move on Sykes slightly pushing him wide which allowed Toprak Razgatlioglu through, slipping him into P5 now with Michael Van Der Mark and Alvaro Bautista breathing down his neck. It wouldn’t take long for the Ducati to pass Sykes with a typical slipstream pass along the start finish straight moving Tom another place back into P7. Sykes would eventually finish the race in P7.
Markus Reiterberger equally got his BMW S 1000 RR of the line well and held P9 heading into the first corner. Markus on the opening lap dropped 3 places and found himself sitting in P12 battling with Michael Ruben Rinaldi for majority of the race – final position P14.
Heading into the last race of the weekend Sykes took up his new place on the grid in P7, Markus P12. Both riders got of to a relatively good start with Tom in P7 and Markus dropping a place in P13 at the end of lap 1. Sykes found himself in a three-way battle with Jordi Torres and Marco Melandri for the majority of the race before bringing it home in P9. Markus fought his way to the end of the race taking 3 points in P13.
Shaun Muir – Team Principal
“It was a difficult Superpole Race. We started off in a strong position for Tom and also a good position for Markus but we could not consolidate that, we slid back in the pack and was difficult to hold position. The same problem we had in the sprint race we then had in the second main race. It has been lack of grip, edge grip, and we really struggled with both Markus and Tom today.
We know that we need to go and look for the chassis balance. For sure we know about the speed deficit but the big issue at the moment is to find more mechanical grip. If we succeed in this and find more mechanical grip, which will be more from the chassis and suspension, then I think we can make another step forward. But today in these hot conditions and in a race condition where you have 20 laps you really feel the effect of that. Unfortunately both riders struggled throughout. We could see that when we do have grip, when we have a qualifying tyre in, Tom is probably one of the fastest riders on the grid.
This to highlight that if we can introduce more grip on race tyre conditions then we will have a much better pace in the race. This is something what we have learned again this weekend and we will work hard to improve that for the next rounds.”
Tom Sykes (GBR)
“It has been a bit difficult and obviously in race conditions we saw that we have some more work to do. But anyway, today we had some quite extreme race conditions and as a result collected some good data from this. In the last race we made a few changes to the BMW S 1000 RR, which helped us to move forward and the race itself has given us a lot of information and a clear point where we are lacking and where to try and improve. Having said that, we certainly have some positives to take away from this weekend in terms of track performance.
A big thanks to the whole of the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, we’ve had quite an intense few days testing here a few weeks back and here at the race weekend so credit to them, we will keep working and hopefully get to where we want to be in a few weeks’ time at Magny-Cours.”
Markus Reiterberger (GER)
“We tried a little modification in the warm up. It felt positive but we knew that we should not be fooled since in the cooler mornings the grip is always better and our bike works really well then. Unfortunately, struggle more and more the warmer it gets. We were able to use the soft tyre in the Superpole Race but I finished only 14th. So it was not a good race. For the second race, we made another change and the feeling was great. The start was good, but maybe I was a bit too cautious in the first two corners and lost a few places. But then I was able to set good lap times and keep in touch with the group. But I just could not get past Michael Ruben Rinaldi. We are still lacking a bit of acceleration and power.”