Following the podium finish for Tom Sykes (GBR) on Saturday, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team endured a difficult Sunday at Magny-Cours (FRA). Sykes finished eighth on his BMW S 1000 RR in both the Superpole Race and the second main race. Team-mate Markus Reiterberger (GER) came home 17th and 15th. Magny-Cours was the venue for round eleven of this season’s FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK).
Sykes started the morning’s Superpole race from sixth place. As in the opening race on Saturday, he soon worked his way into fourth place. This time, however, he was unable to mix it with the front-runners and eventually had to settle for eighth place. Consequently, Sykes started the second main race on Saturday afternoon from eighth place. He initially climbed to sixth place, but then dropped back through the field over the course of the race, eventually crossing the finish line eighth after 21 laps of racing. Reiterberger started the Superpole race and race two from 19th place. He was 17th in the morning, before finishing 15th to score one point in the afternoon race.
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team now travels to San Juan in Argentina, where the penultimate round of the season will take place in two weeks’ time (11th to 13th October). The finale will be held in Qatar at the end of October.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “Sunday was disappointing for us. The set-up changes we tried out in the warm-up did not have the desired effect for Tom. We were unable to back up the performance we showed on Saturday. The track temperatures were significantly higher, even in the earlier Superpole race. After a strong start, we fell back through the field. We also started strongly in race two, but then lost roughly a second per lap to our rivals, which meant we had no chance of challenging for a spot on the podium. We are lacking mechanical grip when accelerating in the lean position. This becomes all the more important as soon as the track temperature starts to rise. We must now see whether we can react in time for the next races, in order to learn as much as possible and to end the season strongly.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “The Superpole race was quite difficult for all of us. Tom struggled a bit on the faster parts of the circuit. He settled into a position we had to be happy with although it was a bit disappointing after yesterday. Markus really struggled and overall it has been a difficult event for him. In the main race, Tom got a really good start and was with the front guys but sadly he could not find the confidence and performance he had yesterday. He was a second per lap slower and finished way off the top-3 or top-4. The whole team needs to have a look at the data and the information and try to understand why this happened. After such a great Saturday it was disappointing to take a step backwards and we need to try to rectify this for Argentina.”
Tom Sykes: “I am obviously a bit disappointed with today but we were struggling in certain areas with the bike and I really tried to ride around some of the issues. But we certainly made some progress in terms of a couple of things and feel quite confident in some areas and just need to work again now on another part of the chassis to enable us to be stronger over the distance. So it was a slightly disappointing day given the result on paper but also a day where we got a lot of information so hopefully we can build on this and move forward. There are a couple of difficult rounds coming up for us but we keep our head down, keep trying to progress and just keep the information coming before we go into the winter break.”
Markus Reiterberger: “The weekend was really tough. I think that our results do not show our potential and are for sure not where we want to be – neither me nor the team. We need to find a solution to improve my feeling for the bike so I can ride faster. I want to reach the top ten – that is my goal for the final two rounds of the season. I want to thank the entire team for their hard work and sorry for the bad results.”