Losail International Circuit
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team have travelled to Qatar in preparation for the final round of the 2019 World Superbike Championship. This season has seen the team compete in 13 rounds, travelled to 10 different countries, 5 continents and collected 4 podiums along the way.
The 5.380km circuit located in the town of Lusail, north of Doha contains 16 corners with 10 right, 6 left and home to a whopping 1,068m long start/finish straight, which will be an overtaking hot spot for this weekend’s racing action. Tom Sykes heads into the season finale eighth in the standings with 219 points, Markus Reiterberger in P15 with 73 points.
Shaun Muir – Team Principal
“After a quite frustrating weekend at Argentina we now come to our final round of the season and we want to finish on a high. Overall, we had some good gains in straight-line speed at the last round in Argentina. We hope to carry that into the Qatar round where we know that we will need speed on the long straight. Equally, we feel the BMW S 1000 RR will be very strong on other parts of the circuit, with the fast and flowing aspects giving us some definite advantages over the competition.
I think there’s an outside chance we can challenge for the podium. It would be a sweet finish to our first year in this partnership. The whole team has worked extremely hard and deserves a final bit of success before we focus on 2020.”
Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
“Time flies. It only seems like yesterday that we lined up for the first time with the new BMW S 1000 RR at Phillip Island. We now head to the final races of our debut season in WorldSBK. We can be proud of what we have achieved in our first year. The podium finishes, in particular, were highlights. However, it is also important for us to consistently finish in the top six in this high-class field. We achieved that very often. There were obviously setbacks, but that is part and parcel of motor racing and is by no means unusual, particularly in a learning year. Despite all the success we have enjoyed, we must not forget that we are still developing the RR and still have things to learn in some areas.
We are very much looking forward to Doha. It will be another challenge for us, but one we are happy to face. It’s all about gathering more information we can work with over the winter break.”
Tom Sykes (GBR)
“I am really looking forward to the races in Doha. For me, it’s always a great event there underneath the floodlights. I really enjoy the circuit layout. It seems quite unbelievable that we are already at the end of the season but certainly the development on the BMW S 1000 RR continues. Doha is a quite different circuit in terms of the general layout, so I’m really looking forward to trying the bike there and hopefully we can get a good result to finish off what I believe has been a very strong debut season for the new RR.”
Markus Reiterberger (GER)
“I hope for an improvement in Qatar after the difficult weekend in Argentina. I know the circuit from 2016, when I raced there in WorldSBK. I hope the track will suit our new BMW S 1000 RR and I am looking forward to the race weekend in Qatar. My goal is to end the season as strongly as possible. I want to work well with the team again. Together, we will try to make some progress. The weekend will obviously be a bit emotional for me – after all, these are my last races in the Superbike World Championship with the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. However, I am looking forward to Qatar and very grateful.”