Munich. This weekend (5th to 7th July) marks the start of the second half of the new BMW S 1000 RR’s maiden season in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). At Donington Park in England, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team will contest the eighth race event of the year with riders Tom Sykes (GBR) and Markus Reiterberger (GER). The project, still in its early days, can be seen as positive so far, mid-way through the season.
The new BMW S 1000 RR was presented to the world at the EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show (ITA) in November 2018. After less than three months of development the racing version of the new RR took to the track in the WorldSBK. The new superbike demonstrated its potential early on, and the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team was consistently among the top six of the fiercely contested world championship. The highlight to date was at the seventh round of the season at Misano (ITA), when Sykes finished second in the race on Saturday to claim the much-celebrated first WorldSBK podium for the new RR.
In the second half of the season about to get underway, the aim is to build on the achievements thus far and continue the development of the racing motorcycle step by step. The races at Donington Park are Sykes’ home races, and BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team’s HQ in Guisborough (GBR) is located just 230 kilometres from the racetrack.
Quotes ahead of the races at Donington Park.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “We are very pleased with the progress of this season so far. When we travelled to Australia with the brand-new BMW S 1000 RR for the season opener in February, we knew that we would have major challenges in store. And we have mastered them well. For us, 2019 is a year of development, and so far we have achieved what we set out to do: continuously improve the racing version of the RR and gradually close in on the top. Tom’s podium at Misano was fantastic affirmation of the hard work put in by everyone involved. Now we want to build on this and continue on the current path in the direction of the top spots. We are really looking forward to the races at Donington Park. The objective for the weekend is to continue to establish ourselves in the top six and optimise the overall package further.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “After a positive first half of the season, it’s now really exciting for everyone in the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team to arrive at our local round. We come with a lot of hope and expectations after a very positive Misano weekend for Tom and also Markus. On Markus’ side, we ended up in a very good position after the final race and we hope we can carry this confidence into Donington which I think will suit his riding style so we expect to be able to maintain progress with Markus with a good feeling with the bike. On Tom’s side, we have a rider in Tom that’s very high in confidence and looking forward for the first time in a long time to be racing at his home event. We know that he is extremely fast at Donington in Superpole and I think that we have shown that the BMW S 1000 RR has now become a very good package in race conditions. I also think that the track temperatures at Donington should suit the RR and I hope that both Tom and Markus can progress and we can push in the top six – and maybe the outside chance of a podium again is what Tom will be aiming for. With Markus we hope to make further progress and get into the top ten.”
Tom Sykes: “I’m very much looking forward to my home round at Donington Park. Certainly coming off the back of some form at Misano, a strong performance and collecting the second place on the podium I feel that the development of the BMW S 1000 RR is in a good direction. The whole BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team is doing some great work and we are all making progress. With that in mind and our recent form I’m really looking forward to Donington and hope that we can keep that level of performance – or maybe even squeeze a little bit more out. We’ll start to work for that on Friday morning!”
Markus Reiterberger: “I have very good memories of Donington. I won there last year with a very good race. Overall the track is very demanding, and it reminds me a little bit of Schleiz. I really like it there. I hope that we continue to make good progress, and that we will have a good feeling as we head to Laguna Seca the following week, which is a new track for me. The weather in England is always a little unpredictable, but we have to try to prepare the bike well for all conditions. I am really looking forward to the weekend and hope that there will be further progress.”