Donington Park Circuit
Following the podium triumph in yesterday’s opening race the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team looked to replicate the success in today’s final two races of the weekend. Tom retook his position on Pole with Peter Hickman just behind him in P4 as the lights dimmed for the start of the 10 lap sprint race. Immediately Sykes took the lead and did so for the next 3 laps, however with Jonathan Rea hot on his tail behind him. Tom and Jonathan seemed to have that extra bit of pace than the rest of the field as they battled it out for the win. Unfortunately, on lap 7 Peter Hickman’s BMW S 1000 RR had a mechanical issue resulting in a loss of fluid, this resulted in multiple crashes including his team mate Tom Sykes after the red flag had been brought out. Despite Tom finishing in P2 his result would be stripped of him due to the (5-minute rule) which states that you must return your bike to parc ferme / box within 5 minutes of the completed race, as he failed to do so his result would be declared as a DNF.
Following the two DNF finishes this meant that both Sykes and Hickman had to start from P10 and P11 for the final race of the weekend. Sykes again got off to a good start however struggled to bridge the gap to the front runners. Tom would bring his RR in a credible P7 just over two seconds from P4. Hickman equally had a difficult race and lapped majority of the race alone narrowly missing out on the top 10 in P11.
Despite the frustrating outcome from today’s racing at Donington Park the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team can take lots of positives from this weekend with Tom’s pole position and yesterday’s brilliant P2.
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team will now travel stateside for round 9 of the WorldSBK series (12/14 July).
Shaun Muir – Team Principal
“The rule book went against us in the Superpole Race. Tom did everything right. He had a good strong pace and it was only really between him and Jonathan to battle for the win in the sprint race. To be penalized with the five-minute return-pit-lane rule we felt was extremely harsh considering all the circumstances. However, there is nothing in the rule book that would have allowed any different outcome to that. Tom could not get the bike back to the paddock, it could not have been moved within the five minute period stipulated in the rule book and so we must accept the outcome as harsh as it is.
Tom’s main race was obviously affected from starting from tenth. He rode a strong race and even though he struggled with grip he was within a second of fourth position and was not too far away from the podium. Peter had a bit of a lonely main race. If he had got away a little bit sharper at the start he maybe could have stayed with the guys in front of him. But we are happy with P11. Peter has not set a foot wrong all weekend, coming in at the last minute and he certainly has done himself and the team proud.
We’ve got to take strength from this weekend. I’m pleased with the guys, I’m proud of everyone’s effort, proud of how everyone bounced back from such a big knockback in the sprint race to come back fighting in the main race. We will take this away, it will hopefully make us stronger and we will learn from it.”
Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
“Unfortunately, today didn’t go according to plan. Firstly, we are very sorry that the technical issue with Peter’s motorcycle in the Superpole race affected other riders, who ended up falling. Unfortunately, Tom’s second place was revoked after he fell on the cool down lap and was unable to make it back to the pits with his bike within the requisite time. In the main race he delivered another outstanding performance and got a lot out of the race with seventh place. We need to file today under learning year and move forward. We saw that the pace of the BMW S 1000 RR is definitely there, and we hope we can convert this into the corresponding results in the Superpole and all three races at Laguna Seca. Kudos to Peter, who jumped in at short notice and delivered a really strong performance.”
Tom Sykes (GBR)
“It certainly was an unlucky day. When we came over the hilltop into Melbourne Loop after the red flag, there was a parked car right at the edge of the tarmac, riders, bikes and marshals, so I looked up just to try and understand if someone was coming on track. Then I hit the oil, Jonathan nearly crashed and I unfortunately did. What happened unfortunately completely changed the dynamic of the day and of the long race. Starting from tenth, I struggled as I would have needed some clear air. So the performance was certainly compromised in today’s race today. It’s a shame because we definitely had the pace for the podium. Yes, I’m disappointed but with the form we have shown this weekend, we still have a lot of positives to take away.”
Peter Hickman (GBR)
“I’m a bit disappointed to be outside the top ten, to be honest. I felt I had some pace to be inside the top ten. But I did not quite have the grip in the final race compared to what we had earlier in the day and yesterday. Maybe the track temperature went a bit up but because of what had happened in the Superpole Race, we did not have the time to make changes on the bike for race two basing on what we had learned in the first race. But it’s the way it goes. I’ve had a good weekend, I enjoyed myself and learned some stuff. The team has been fantastic, really thanks to Smiths Racing BMW for allowing me to compete here and to Dunlop UK for allowing me to drop their weekend to come here. I hope to get some opportunity like this again sometime in the future.”