The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team today returned to World Superbike action at the all new Mandalika International Street Circuit on the Indonesian island of Lombok. Tom Sykes was back onboard his BMW M 1000RR in today’s FP1 and FP2 sessions following his long absence due to his injury sustained in Catalunya, Barcelona. It didn’t take long for Tom to get back up to speed as he finished in P13 overall for the day (1’35.411).
Michael van der Mark headed into today’s practice sessions not feeling 100% with suspected food poisoning. The team and Michael made the decision to run limited laps to preserve Mickeys energy for the remainder of the weekend. Despite that he was still able to put his BMW M 1000 RR into the top 10 with his fastest lap at (1’34.938).
“It was great to get back on track for FP1 and FP2 today. Tom slotted straight back in and got into a groove and felt reasonably comfortable, obviously a 9 week lay off Is always going to be difficult to overcome, but he did a good job. It took him a while to get a comfortable setting and the tyres were critical today as the track was quite dusty and dirty this morning which we expected but he got his head down this afternoon. He did have one quite big incident at the end of FP1 as he went down at T5 / 6 which is one of the fastest corners around here, but fortunately he was unscathed, and the bike was not too damaged.
Different story for Mickey. He is really struggling with his fitness as he has food poisoning. We took a decision today just to conserve his laps and learn the circuit with limited track activity. He put in a few fast laps at the end of FP2 with the SCX tyre. We think Michael is at the end of the illness and its all about getting his strength and fitness back which we know in these conditions is critical.”
“Here in Mandalika they have done a fantastic job of the circuit and what a great venue it is. Its really nice to be back in action and honestly after the injury I had to come back into the competition like this in my opinion is quite a tall task. It was 9 weeks off the bike, so I am just trying to work my way back into again. Today we had a few limitations with the bike and where I need it to be, so for that and this afternoon we didn’t lay all the cards on the table so to speak in the hope we can improve our set up and come back out stronger tomorrow morning. But after today I will go back tonight and have a nice sleep and tomorrow, we can start at another level.”
“Its really impressive what they have built here, and in such a short space of time. We went out this morning on track and the layout is incredible. Every sector is different and has its own different character which is great. I must say I was struggling today with my health; I’ve been feeling quite unwell the last two days. Other than that, the bike has improved a lot from FP1 to FP2 and to be +0.700 from the lead is not too bad and if I have a bit more energy, I think we can make another big improvement for tomorrow. But I must say I really enjoy riding here.”