A good Saturday was followed by a great Sunday at Donington Park. BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team celebrated the first three podiums in the FIM Superbike World Championship for the new BMW M 1000 RR.
In the morning’s Superpole race, Tom Sykes (GBR) and Michael van der Mark (NED) finished second and third to record a double podium, while Sykes finished third in the afternoon’s second main race to reach the rostrum once again.
Van der Mark crossed the finish line in a good fifth place. Donington Park hosted round four of the 2021 WorldSBK season.
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team had laid the foundations for Sunday’s success in Superpole qualifying on Saturday, as van der Mark and Sykes began the Superpole race in the morning from second and third places on the grid. Rain showers made a brief appearance before the sprint race but the circuit dried out quickly.
In common with much of the field, both BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team riders went with intermediate tyres. They both initially dropped back by one place on the first lap but regained those positions on lap two and did not surrender them thereafter. After ten laps, Sykes finished second and van der Mark third to secure not just the first WorldSBK podium for the new M RR, but a double podium finish.
As the Superpole race decided the grid for race two that afternoon, they had a great start position with both riders back on the front row again, Sykes in second and van der Mark in third. Sykes exited the first turns in third place, staying in touch with leading duo Jonathan Rea (GBR / Kawasaki) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR / Yamaha).
Sykes dropped back to fourth place for a short while around the halfway point of the race, but the BMW rider moved back to third after a fall for leader Rea. He then defended until the chequered flag was waved after 23 laps – celebrating his second podium finish of the day. Van der Mark lost ground at the start but moved back into fifth place on lap 16 to secure another top-five finish.
Eugene Laverty (IRL) crossed the finish line in twelfth place in the Superpole race on the BMW M 1000 RR of BMW satellite team RC Squadra Corse. He finished 15th in race two, scoring another world championship point. Jonas Folger (GER) from the BMW satellite team Bonovo MGM Racing claimed 16th place in the morning’s sprint race. He then retired early from the afternoon race as the quickshifter did not work properly.
Reacting, Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director, who expressed joy, said: “it was very good to get this under the belt. It takes away a bit of the pressure when we focus on the next rounds. As I said yesterday, there is still some work to do.
“I was hoping for some rain today but it didn’t come in the afternoon. So it was very, very good to confirm our performance in a full dry race on slicks as we were definitely not as competitive in such conditions in the last race and also at the beginning of this weekend. Overall, to come away with three podiums is of course very, very pleasing.
“This is something we can build on. Crucial for this weekend was definitely our Superpole qualifying because if you look at the pace of the others you know that you could easily be sixth, seventh or eighth if you are not in that front row. Now it’s time to settle down, look at the data, gather our thoughts and make the next step.”
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