Munich. Three weeks after its successful race debut at Phillip Island, Australia, the new BMW S 1000 RR is set for its second WorldSBK outing. This weekend (15th to 17th March), the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team is at the “Chang International Circuit” in Buriram (THA) for round two of the 2019 FIM Superbike World Championship.
The team, including riders Tom Sykes (GBR) and Markus Reiterberger (GER), will be focussing on the continued development of the brand-new superbike under race conditions. The RR production version was launched in November 2018, and with the road bikes as a basis, BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team had just three months to prepare the race bikes for the Superbike World Championship. The season-opener at Phillip Island produced the first good results, on which the team is now looking to build: Both riders finished within the points positions in both races.
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team’s race weekend kicks off with two free practice sessions on Friday. Saturday features Superpole qualifying and race one, which gets underway at 16:00 local time. The new ten-lap “Superpole Race”, which was introduced to WorldSBK this season, starts at 13:00 local time on Sunday. This is followed at 16:00 by race two.
Quotes ahead of the Buriram races.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “We have taken a lot of positive things from Australia, but we have also clearly seen in the races where we are still behind and which areas we need to focus on in terms of further development. Due to the short time between the two race weekends the fact that the equipment has not returned to the team headquarters between Australia and Thailand, we will only bring certain technical updates. These are aimed primarily at the reliability for the upcoming battle with the heat. We look forward to the next event where the atmosphere is always great, and we will be able to gather more important experience there on the way forward.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “It’s going to be a very tough weekend for everyone with the temperatures soaring at 40 degrees Celsius, but we are confident we can continue the good work in Australia and bring some new ideas to the table to make another step forward for Buriram. The team has done some good work in-between Phillip Island and Buriram which we can implement here and hopefully improve our pace come the race, which is our main aim.”
Tom Sykes: “It’s always great to come and race at the Buriram circuit here in Thailand. Obviously my main focus this weekend is still to continue the development of the new BMW S 1000 RR. I’m feeling really confident in some ways but given our experience in the race at Phillip Island one of my few concerns is the two long straights given the speed deficit. Despite that, the BMW S 1000 RR chassis is really good and is capable of taking on the rest of the field. I am looking forward to starting the race weekend and hope that we can continue the good progress made over the winter test period.”
Markus Reiterberger: “I really like Thailand. Firstly, because my best result in the Superbike World Championship came there – fifth place in 2016. Secondly, because the track really suits my riding style. There are a lot of sections where you have to brake hard, which is my strength and something our new RR is also very good at. We just have to try not to lose too much on the long straights and then to make up in the corners what we are still currently losing on the straights. However, we are all working hard and I think that Thailand can be a good hunting ground for us. The heat will make it challenging for everyone, but we are well prepared and I believe we can have a good weekend. I am determined to do well and already looking forward to the weekend, as I really like the track and we found a positive trend at Phillip Island, which we will now carry into the race in Thailand.”