Circuito De Jerez
Day 2 here at the Circuito De Jerez began with this morning’s FP3 session where Markus and Tom were able to fine tune their BMW S 1000 RR’s ahead of Superpole. Markus Reiterberger struggled to get to grips with his S 1000 RR in yesterday’s free practice sessions however with the drastic change made overnight, he was able to get a more comfortable feeling going into Qualifying.
Sykes eager to consolidate his solid fourth position in FP3 took to the track in Superpole however, narrowly missed out on the front row as he finished in P6 with a 1’38.846.
Markus Reiterberger equally eager to improve on FP3 went -0.300 faster in the session and put himself on the fifth row in P14, not the position he hoped for but another solid step forward from his opening day for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team.
Race 1 soon approached and Sykes got off to a solid start as he found himself in P4 going into T1. Throughout the opening lap Tom managed to match the pace of the front runners but dropped a further 3 places as he completed lap 1. From lap two Tom got into a three-way battle with the #54 of Toprak and #33 off Marco Melandri sitting ahead of him in P6. Despite his efforts Sykes would contain his P7 until the final lap where the reining WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea collided with the luckless Alex Lowes meaning Sykes would inherit P6 for race 1.
Markus Reiterberger lined up on the grid respectively in P14, ready to mount the challenge for a top ten finish. The German got off to a good start on the opening lap as he battled his way into P12. Markus maintained this position for the rest of the race despite his solid effort to chase the group containing Sandro Cortese, Leon Haslam and Michael Ruben Rinaldi. Markus’ final position P11 following Alex Lowes’ crash.
The teams focus now turns to tomorrow’s two races in what they hope can be yet another day of promising development for the new S 1000 RR.
Shaun Muir – Team Principal
“It was a very productive day 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 as he took that into the race. It was almost a race of experience, to understand the set-up we had just given him he did pretty well with his lap times coming down towards the end of the race. Of course, the top ten would have been nice but eleventh was also a good finish today.
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. He circled all race in that position and then inherited one place following the last lap incident. He had a slight vibration issue from the chassis which we can fix overnight. We collected more valuable data for tomorrow so we hope for a strong sprint race and try to secure a place on the front row of the grid. The target for tomorrow’s main race is to improve on today’s overall position and try to move up the order a little bit further.”
Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
“The fact that Tom finished in the top six again is more confirmation of the work we have put in so far. We know that we can only improve gradually, but that is what we are doing. We are confident that it is only a matter of time before we enjoy some even better race results. Tom once again did a good job of exploiting the potential of the RR. Markus also made good progress today after a difficult Friday. Our goal for tomorrow is to continue to improve and for both riders to finish higher than they did today.”
Tom Sykes (GBR)
“I’m relatively happy to be honest. I made a pretty good start to the race and again we just had some small issues that we had seen in some other races before, while I was able to do some pretty nice things with the BMW S 1000 RR in the middle of the corner. On a clear track, we have a better rhythm but I’m still enjoying the riding – I would just like a bit more from my results. But like I said, in terms of that, this is only round six and I don’t feel we are doing a bad job, especially considering how new the project is.
I’m upbeat and my target is to keep working and moving forward, especially considering what should still be to come in terms of development. We just need time and everybody in the project understands that. We’re all enjoying ourselves and working to the same target and I believe we’ll get there.”
Markus Reiterberger (GER)
“I’m really happy. Yesterday 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. It seemed that we improved in some areas. The goal was to be within the top ten, which we narrowly missed, but we made some progress. That is the most important thing and I hope that we can take another step tomorrow. We have to work in the area that I’m still losing the front a bit and if we manage to bring the bike out of the corner a little bit better I think I can find a few tenths per lap.”