Laguna Seca. The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team has recorded another podium finish with the BMW S 1000 RR in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). Tom Sykes (GBR) secured third place in the Superpole race at Laguna Seca. This was the third podium for the new RR in its WorldSBK debut season. Sykes crossed the line fifth in the afternoon’s second race. Team-mate Markus Reiterberger (GER) finished the two races on Sunday in twelfth and 13th positions.
The Superpole sprint race in the morning was interrupted due to an accident shortly after the start, before restarting with a reduced, eight-lap format. Sykes secured fourth place on the grid, but Alvaro Bautista (ESP / Ducati) was missing from the front row. Sykes immediately moved into third place and crossed the line without ever being in danger of losing that position. Reiterberger started the sprint race from eleventh position, finishing in twelfth place.
In the afternoon, Sykes started race two from third place, while Reiterberger began in twelfth. Sykes lost one place in the first turn and remained fourth until lap 13, when Alex Lowes (GBR / Yamaha) passed him. He closed up on Lowes again, crossing the line just half a second behind him in fifth place. Reiterberger moved up to eleventh for a while after overtaking Sandro Cortese (GER / Yamaha). He maintained this position until the 14thlap, before falling back a little and finishing the race in 13th place.
The WorldSBK is now heading for a summer break. The tenth event of the season will take place from 6th to 8th September at Portimão (POR).
Quotes after race two at Laguna Seca.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “That was a good day to round off a great weekend – a podium in the Superpole race and then another solid performance and fifth place for Tom in the second race. Markus was able to improve throughout the day and close the gap to the riders in front. We have some homework to do and we won’t see our competitors again before the tests at Portimão at the end of August. A large part of the team is now heading for some well-deserved vacation time. We can be very pleased with the season so far as we have clearly exceeded our expectations.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “Tom claimed a great result in today’s sprint race. He rode really well; to take the third position and a front row start for race two was a solid performance all around. In the race, as we hoped, he had a pretty good start, only Toprak got in front of him, he slotted in and was in a solid fourth position. He rode a good race. Alex Lowes got by him after he made a mistake and then he recovered well. He dropped two seconds and pulled that right back. If there had been another lap he probably would have got fourth back. So it was great progress by Tom and they can go into the summer break happy. Markus had a reasonably good day. The sprint race showed more progression but I was even more happy in the second race. He rode some pretty good lap times and overall it was a big improvement on his race one result. So overall we can be pleased going back home and we can make a plan exactly what we need to focus on in the next phase of the development of the bike.”
Tom Sykes: “We’ve come away again with a bag full of top-5 finishes, including a podium in the sprint race. Overall it was a very productive weekend for the whole BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. The bike seems to be not getting the best from the tyres at the moment but we got a lot of information this weekend and having said that it was a complete different story at the end of that race two. We had a lot of pace and I closed the gap to Alex Lowes so that’s certainly positive to take with us. We now have the summer break coming up so it’s just cool that at the right time we got a lot of information at the weekend and hopefully now the guys in the team can put this to good use. There are still areas to work on but overall the whole package is quite promising and having three podiums at the last three rounds is not too bad against these experienced manufacturers. I’m enjoying riding, have a great relationship with the team and BMW and it’s needless to say that we are heading in the right direction. I think everybody has seen that the progress we’ve made from the opening round until now has been quite impressive.”
Markus Reiterberger: “The restart in the Superpole race was great. I made up a few places and crossed the line in a decent twelfth position. For the second race, we chose different tyres to yesterday. They were reliable for the first 15 laps but then there was a big drop with lots of movement and then it was just about getting to the finish. Unfortunately, that meant I lost two places. I did have my eye on the top ten but I missed out on that, however, we did score a few points. I had hoped for more from the weekend as I know that I can do much better. That’s why I’m hoping we can find a way for me to attack properly with the bike and go really fast. We have to continue working on it and then the breakthrough will come. I would like to thank the team as they gave it everything again this weekend.“