San Juan. Having already claimed sixth spot in Saturday’s race at San Juan (ARG), Michael van der Mark (NED) reached the top six again in both races on Sunday. The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team rider secured fifth place in the morning’s Superpole race and then crossed the line in sixth once again in the main race on his BMW M 1000 RR. Eugene Laverty (IRL) completed Sunday’s races in 15th and 16th positions. San Juan was hosting the penultimate round of the 2021 season in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK).
Van der Mark began Sunday morning’s Superpole race from sixth place. He fell back a little during the opening laps and was eighth on lap three, wedged into a tight group. Van der Mark prevailed over his rivals in the second half of the race, working his way up to fifth and that was the position in which he crossed the line after ten laps. Laverty began the Superpole race from twelfth place. He moved up to tenth after a good start before losing two positions again as the first lap progressed. He remained in twelfth until the penultimate lap before slipping back down to fifteenth.
In the second main race, van der Mark made a good start and battled away in fifth place in the leading group. He was applying pressure on the riders ahead as he aimed for fourth place. however he lost a place towards the halfway point of the race and fell back to sixth. Nonetheless, van der Mark remained in touch but the gap to the top five stretched out a little on the closing laps. He was never in danger of losing sixth position before crossing the line after completing 21 laps. Laverty endured a difficult second main race. He started from eleventh place and fell back to 17th during the opening laps. Laverty did gain one position on the penultimate lap, crossing the line in 16th place.
The season finale for the WorldSBK 2021 will take place from 19th to 21st November at the new Mandalika circuit in Indonesia.
Quotes after race two at San Juan.
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “A great result today from Michael on the BMW M 1000 RR. From where we started on Friday to where we finished today has been fantastic hard work from him and his crew and a testament to the steps that we have taken. We never quite got the chance for the podium today but a fifth and two sixth-places in the three races is a great reward for the hard work. To finish eight seconds behind the winner and just a couple of seconds off the podium in today’s main race just shows how much improvement we have made with the bike so it was great work by Mickey and his team. Eugene unfortunately struggled today. In practice, he and Michael rode together and they swapped places to see where Eugene had issues but it seems that we could not transfer that into comfortable settings so Eugene was struggling both in the Superpole race and in the main race. It is a shame for him as he had deserved much better results than these. Thanks to Eugene for stepping in for Tom at the last three rounds. Now we are looking forward to Tom’s return in Indonesia.”
Michael van der Mark, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “It has been a good Sunday. This morning in warm-up, we tried something different with the bike but in the end we weren’t really sure so we went back to yesterday’s set-up. In the Superpole race, I had a good race, I had fun and enjoyed it a lot. I had some good battles and was pretty fast, faster than yesterday. It was nice to start from fifth on the grid for race two. I had an okay start and was in the group fighting for the podium. To be honest, in the beginning I was struggling a bit with the full fuel tank. Towards the end of the race I was alone but I was riding a good pace and it was nice to see what we can do. I think that it has been an overall good weekend. We take some good points home and it was nice to be able to fight with the guys for the podium today in race two but for sure we need to be a little bit faster.”
Eugene Laverty, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “Altogether, from my side, it has been a very tough weekend. I struggled to make progress. We changed the bike to improve my feeling and we never made any major breakthrough. Also in the last race to finish outside the points after giving my everything over the entire race was a bitter pill to swallow so I am disappointed with my performance. All the guys in the team deserved a better result but unfortunately I wasn’t able to deliver it. Thanks for this great opportunity to be in the team for these three rounds. I am just disappointed with myself that I could not do more.”