After the double-header in Spain and Portugal, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team is now heading to the third round of the FIM Superbike World Championship 2021 (WorldSBK) at Misano, Italy. The circuit on the Adriatic coast has proved to be a happy hunting ground in the past. In 2019, the team and Tom Sykes (GBR) celebrated the first podium finish there for a WorldSBK project that was still in its infancy. The Misano race did not take place last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team are now hoping to build on that successful 2019 appearance at Misano with the new BMW M 1000 RR, which is in its first season as the WorldSBK race bike. Sykes will be joined by Michael van der Mark (NED) in the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team.
“First of all, we are delighted to return to Misano after missing out last year. For sure, 2019 was a very good event for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and now to return with the BMW M 1000 RR will be good to compare our improvements. Hopefully we can repeat that success from 2019. We are going into the weekend both Michael and Tom coming back from Estoril with some new direction. For sure, Michael is starting to feel very acclimatised with his electronic feel of his M RR and that’s really important. He is really starting to feel like the bike can do exactly what he wants and that’s a good step for him so his confidence is very strong in that area. On the other side, Tom still has some concerns over his chassis direction and we will work on that in Friday’s practices. But hopefully quickly Tom can get into a good rhythm and can prepare himself ready for Superpole and the races. We hope we can get some good conditions in the weather and we have some straight forward races with no weather causing any issues because the forecast predicts some thunderstorms around that time. Overall as a team, we are happy to return, we feel quite confident that the Misano circuit should be favourable for us and we are ready to get on track.”
“We are heading to Misano with plenty of optimism. The first two races of the season at MotorLand Aragón and Estoril took place on circuits that we already knew would be challenging for us. Nonetheless, we were able to record some satisfying results, and even more importantly, we were able to test our new BMW M 1000 RR extensively under racing conditions. We know where our strengths lie and where we still have some work to do. In Misano, the situation is completely different to how it was at the first two circuits on the calendar. We have some good memories of Misano and were able to show that how much we like this circuit at the last race there in 2019. Of course, we will never forget the first podium finish with Tom. Now we are confident that we can put on a strong performance at Misano with the new M RR.”
Tom Sykes: “I am obviously looking very much forward to the Misano round of the WorldSBK calendar. It’s a circuit I really enjoy. It will certainly be tight in terms of lap times as it is quite small and twisty so we’re really looking to be competitive. We’ve had some strong results there in the past with the BMW S 1000 RR so hopefully with the updated M RR we can improve on those. That’s certainly my target and it would be fantastic. We’ve had a podium success there so if we could do something similar this weekend it’s what we need. Overall, it’s a fantastic location and I am looking forward to getting out there.”
Michael van der Mark: “Misano is one of my favourite tracks. I really missed going there last year. I love the circuit, I love the layout and I am looking forward to it. It’s a completely different track again compared to Aragón and Estoril but I think it will suit the BMW very well and especially the way the bike is working now. After some good results at Aragón and Estoril a very different track and I think we can do really well there. Regarding goals for the weekend, I think it is still difficult to say where we expect to be but I think we should be close to the top five. We had some good results, the gap is still a little bit too big but I think the way the Misano track is we can do really well.”