Jerez de la Frontera. In preparation for the 2022 season of the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), BMW Motorrad Motorsport carried out its first winter test. The two BMW teams – BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and Bonovo action BMW Racing Team – took to the track in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, this week.
In the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, Michael van der Mark (NED) continued his work on the BMW M 1000 RR as he looks to take another step forward next season after one win and a further two podiums in 2021. Scott Redding (GBR) used the test days to familiarise himself with his future bike and team. The Brit had gained his first experience on his new bike during a private test in Estoril (POR) last week. The focus there was on getting to know the bike and recording the ergometry. The findings from the test were implemented quickly and the modified parts and new components were already available by the time he arrived at the Jerez de la Frontera test.
With the two riders, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team tested engine specifications for 2022, as well as chassis modifications. The direct competitive comparison allows the team to determine the work direction in preparation for the next test in the new year.
The Bonovo action BMW Racing Team is also at Jerez de la Frontera with its two new riders. After Eugene Laverty (IRL) and Loris Baz (FRA) visited the team headquarters in Germany in November, they began the test work together at the racetrack. Laverty, who was heavily involved in the development of the BMW M 1000 RR, will be racing with the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team in his third season as a BMW works driver. Baz is already familiar with the BMW S 1000 RR, on which he rode in the WorldSBK in 2018, and uses the test to learn more about the M RR.
Quotes after the Jerez de la Frontera test.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “There have been a lot of new things at this test. In general, it has been important to test with all four riders, including the two new additions Baz and Redding, before Christmas. It was good to have all four riders on the same bike on the same race track. We brought a lot of new test items that we either confirmed or evaluated with all four of the in order to get the right direction. With two new riders you of course first to get used to the way they give their feedback and how to transfer their comments but we managed that very well. We then also compared this feedback with that given by van der Mark and Laverty who already knew the bike very well. We have ticked all boxes in our test programme but maybe might do some further laps tomorrow. We gathered a huge amount of information and this is now to be analysed. Overall, we found very good directions and in general, I am very satisfied. We take a lot of positives back home. Now we will have a well-deserved Christmas break but then we will continue to intensively prepare for the season. We are very optimistic looking forward.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “It has been a successful test for both sides of the pit box. We have a new rider with Scott. He had a lot of things to work through but most importantly for him was to find that comfortable setting feeling with the bike. I am really pleased about his work ethic in the pit box. He has put a lot of laps in and he acclimatised very well. On Michael’s side, we worked on similar development parts to what Scott has and he has been working through that very well as well. Comparing both riders’ feedback it is very similar and I am very pleased about that. I think it is proving that the set-up direction we are going with the BMW M 1000 RR is aligned between both riders which is very important. Equally important is that we got new team-members within the group and I am really pleased to see how all these guys are working together. There has been a lot of overlapping, a lot of chassis changes, a lot of engine changes and everybody has been working as a group, so I applaud all the team and all the guys working very closely together. Overall I think we can leave the test here at Jerez with our heads held up high, we have done a good job and we can go into the Christmas break with a lot of confidence and get ready for our next test in the new year.”
Michael van der Mark, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “It was good to have a test even if it was so late in the year. We had a lot of new components and items to try on the bike. At this test we barely played around with the set-up of the bike, we mainly tried new parts to figure out what brings improvement and what does not. We need to get some ideas and start producing the new things. It has been a really good test and I am really happy with a lot of new things. It was great to gather good information and now I am looking forward to a short Christmas break.”
Michael Galinski, Team Manager Bonovo action BMW Racing Team: “It has been the first test for the new season and the first time for us to be at the race track with the big team. I want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Jürgen Röder, who made it possible for us to now compete as a two-rider team. He will attend many races next year and we are looking forward to that. We have a lot of new people with us, also the riders are partly new for us. Of course we have known both for many years. Loris has already raced for our team and I have also known Eugene for quite some time. Both did a great job at the test. But not only that, it was also important for me to gel with the new members as a team and to get used to each other. That worked very well. With new people, for example from England and France, our team has become more international after being a more or less German squad in the past. Like at every other team, English is now our team language. The collaboration in the combination with SMR and Bonovo action also works very well. There are always a lot of things to try and when time allows we share this between us. The test has been very positive in all aspects, we are also happy with the lap times. But we still have some things to find and work to do.”
Eugene Laverty, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team: “I already met the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team in November when we went to Germany and spent a weekend together with the guys. They invited us all there and it was so nice to meet each other away from the track because sometimes you only meet the guys in a work environment. So to go there, have some beers and relax away from the track and made me feel at home straight away. The first test days with the team have been very positive. I felt comfortable on the bike immediately after the first couple of exits on day one. I feel good in braking which is an area I am always working on. I am happy with the progress we are making. There is still work to do to improve our turning in the long corners compared to the other BMW riders but I am happy that we are right there in the mix. There is a really good atmosphere in the box, I get on very well with Loris. He is a fast guy and that’s important, to have a fast team-mate to push you. We work together well and all the guys are experienced as well. It’s great crew and I think we have a good year ahead of us.”
Loris Baz, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team: “I am happy to be back with BMW and about the opportunity to be back in WorldSBK. I was really looking forward to that test to have a first impression. A December test is never the most crucial one of the season but it’s really important for getting to know the team, to meet the people and for the feeling you are going into the winter with. The test was a lot of work, we did a lot of laps. Also, I was back on the bike after nearly three months and it is never easy when you jump on a bike that is completely different. The test was about understanding how the bike works and also to try to give the best input based on the differences of all the bikes I know. I have riden a lot of bikes in WorldSBK so I was trying to adapt to the bike and at the same time give the right input on what we can improve on that bike. The M RR has a lot of strong points, we just need to put them together to get a bike that works well from a riding side. When you start working with a new bike, you have to switch from one riding style to another but we did a good job, completing over 150 laps. Yes, I am happy. We tried some new parts for next year and mainly a lot of things on the electronics, and with every run we went faster and I felt a bit more confident on the bike. I am satisfied with the job so far.”