Jerez de la Frontera. The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team claimed another top-six finish with the new BMW S 1000 RR in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). Tom Sykes (GBR) finished sixth in Saturday’s race at Jerez de la Frontera (ESP). His team-mate Markus Reiterberger (GER) came home eleventh. Jerez de la Frontera is hosting round six of the 2019 WorldSBK season.
Sykes landed his RR in sixth place on the grid in the morning’s Superpole qualifying. Reiterberger started from 14th. Sykes lost a position at the start and was running seventh until the final lap when he regained sixth place. Reiterberger climbed two places at the start and then set his sights on a top-ten finish. In the end, he took the chequered flag in eleventh place, just seven-tenths of a second behind the rider in tenth place.
Quotes after race one at Jerez de la Frontera.
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.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “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. He took that into the race. It was almost a race of experience, to understand the set-up we had just given him and 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 then. He literally circled all race in that position and then inherited one place in the end. He had a slight vibration issue from the chassis which we can fix overnight. We collected more valuable data for tomorrow. 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.”
Tom Sykes: “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. I’m at the back of the guys but then I find some limitations. 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. For now, we can’t do magical things and I think everybody in the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team is doing an extraordinary job. We’ll keep on pushing.”
Markus Reiterberger: “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.”