Jerez de la Frontera. Round six of the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) at Jerez de La Frontera (ESP) concluded with the Superpole Race and the Sunday race for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. Tom Sykes (GBR) claimed another top-five result with the BMW S 1000 RR, finishing fifth in the Superpole Race.
That result meant Sykes started the afternoon’s main race from fifth on the grid. When Chaz Davies (GBR) and Marco Melandri (ITA) collided in front of him on lap six, Sykes moved up into fourth place, however, he then dropped several positions after a mistake on lap nine. The race was then suspended on lap 18 following a crash and Sykes was classified in seventh place. Team-mate Markus Reiterberger (GER) ended the Superpole Race in 15thplace. Like Sykes, he struggled for grip in the main race and eventually came home twelfth.
Misano (ITA) hosts the next round of the 2019 WorldSBK season in two weeks. The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team is familiar with the circuit, having tested there in the run-up to Jerez de la Frontera.
Quotes after race two at Jerez de la Frontera.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “We can see the progress we are continuously making with the new BMW S 1000 RR. For various reasons, however, we are still unable to convert this progress into corresponding results in all the races. That is why we had such a mixed weekend at Jerez. Given the fact that some of the top riders failed to finish, we should have been capable of far better results in today’s main race. However, both riders had grip issues. We will now analyse that and find out what caused it. On the plus side, Tom was able to score some valuable points and Markus’ feel for the bike improved. We have to build on that now. At the same time, development of the new RR continues and we hope to be able to take the next step at Misano.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “The Superpole race was really strong from Tom. He was on the SCX which was good for the race distance. We were really happy with that fifth position which set him up for a good start in the main race. That main race was quite difficult for Tom as he was suffering from lack of grip. His lap times were quicker than in race one but that also was the case with everyone else. He finished P7 but without the retirements in the field it would have been probably more a P10. Equally for Markus, he had a difficult day. So after a promising start to the weekend the Sunday did not go too well but we will come back stronger at Misano.”
Tom Sykes: “All things considered, I really feel that we had a decent set of results. I’m a little bit disappointed with race two. I had a big moment in the fast last right hander. I lost the front with 170 km/h and the slide was over fifty metres so it was lucky that we were able to save it. I was able to catch up with the guys again but wasn’t able to pass. Overall, I think we had some decent results given where we are with the performance of the engine. We’re continuing to collect information for moving forward. So now my expectations are to keep the program developing towards the podium. That’s the ultimate target. When you look at the team, the manufacturer and the riders, we have high potential but obviously just for now we need to sit back and understand what we’ve got in this little gap and hopefully for Misano we can have another step forward.”
Markus Reiterberger: “Unfortunately, the changes we made today for the Superpole race and the main race did not help as much as we had hoped. I had a great start in the second race and felt super on the bike in the opening laps. I was easily able to match the pace of the front-runners. However, I then started to lose grip on the rear wheel and it was tough to hang on to twelfth place. The result is obviously not what we wanted. However, we made a few findings again and gathered some information. We will continue to work hard and I am now looking forward to Misano. Before then, I will attempt to find out how I can possibly change my riding style and we will analyse the data to see what we can do to the bike.”