BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team conclude the first test of the 2020 season at the Circuito De Jerez
Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team’s Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty today concluded their first two-day test of the 2020 season at the Circuito De Jerez in Spain. Eugene Laverty threw his leg over his new BMW S 1000 RR for the first time on Thursday and managed to gel with the bike straight away. Throughout the opening day Laverty went through his testing plan and completed 60+ laps setting his fastest lap time of 1’40.971, putting him in P10 at the end of day 1.
Sykes looking to build on his solid maiden season with the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team got to work on the opening day by making multiple changes to his RR which included adjustments to the swingarm, rear shock and electronics. Tom’s fastest lap of the day ended with a 1’40.431 and he lapped a total of 50 laps landing him in P7 (+1.224) behind Jonathon Rea in P1.
Day 2 at the Circuito De Jerez and both Sykes and Laverty continued to work through their testing schedules, however with multiple red flags interruptions throughout the day. Laverty made some changes to his BMW S 1000 RR from day 1 with front fork spring adjustments and trying different electronic strategies. Eugene managed to go faster from his 1’40.971 on Thursday with a 1’40.328 putting him in P10. Sykes equally made some changes to his bike on the final day and as a result circled a 1’39.587. Final position P6.
Tom Sykes (GBR)
“I think we had a very strong test and credit to all the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. We’ve had a big list to go through and the boys have worked hard. I am very satisfied with what we achieved. We really tried a lot on the BMW S 1000 RR, definitely made progress and for me now I can go into the winter feeling happy with our performance. Certainly on race tyres as well, we found quite a step and also over the distance. The bike was working nice and we obviously tried the qualifying tyre at the end. It was incredible but after two strong sectors I unfortunately made a small mistake in the hairpin and crashed. But I was interested in how the bike feels with high grip and I also went for another lap after the crash. For me that was good because we have extra information going into the winter. Overall it was a good test with a consistent track to work through a very big list and that’s what we needed all season. Thanks to the whole team and the guys back at the factory for working so hard to make things possible.
Shaun Muir – Team Principal
“We’ve completed two full days of testing with Tom and Eugene, we got through an awful lot of work and are generally pleased with the outcome. We’ve found a clear direction for Tom on his chassis set-up which let’s us move forward in a specific direction we know he will be comfortable with. We got through a big list so we’re really pleased for Tom. Eugene had to take some time to get used to the electronics package on the BMW S 1000 RR and over the Christmas break we will further work on a strategy for him. He was getting quicker and quicker but only until the point where he was ready to push, but we are still very happy with his first test as he was running consistent times. Overall, we are happy going into the break, we’ve had no major issues and can ready for the tests in January.”
Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
“Already during the final stages of the past season, we have been working intensively on the further development of the BMW S 1000 RR for 2020. Our first winter test in Jerez de la Frontera has been very productive. Among other things, we were able to test various chassis variants, new shock absorber elements, a range of tyre options, and electronic updates.
Tom had a few minor issues at the start of day one, but they were resolved quickly and we were able to complete the busy programme, which included many test points. Eugene first had to find his feet on the RR, but was soon able to start to configure the bike to his own personal requirements. We are happy with the progress he has made at his first test with the RR. We must now analyse the large amount of data and comprehensive rider feedback we have received, which will help determine the direction we will take to start the 2020 season.”
Eugene Laverty (GBR)
“Overall, it was a good test. Riding the bike I can tell this is the best chassis I’ve ever ridden. The way the bike turns and enters the corner is incredible. It’s surprising just how physical it is to ride right now. We have to get the power under control for the corner exit. Once I can get that it will be even more ride-able. Right now I can wrestle it for one lap if we wanted to get a lap time but for test that is not necessary. So we’ve been working and just trying to tame the beast a little bit so we can get a bike that is going to be comfortable for 20 laps. The chassis is incredible and that’s the important thing. The base of the bike is good, now it’s just another fine-tuning of the electronics.”