MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: BMW GroupEstoril. The 2020 season of the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) is on the home straight, the first race of the final weekend in Estoril (POR) has been completed. The two riders of the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, Tom Sykes (GBR) and Eugene Laverty (IRL), finished race one on Saturday in positions ten and twelve. The “Circuito do Estoril” has hosted the WorldSBK for the first time since 1993. After getting to know the track and its peculiarities on Friday, another practice session, Superpole qualification and race one were on the program on Saturday.
In the Superpole, Sykes and Laverty qualified for tenth and 14th on the grid with their BMW S 1000 RRs. Both of them lost positions in the first laps of the race. In the further course, both were able to defend their positions backwards, but it was not possible to launch an attack forward. Due to the failures of other pilots, Sykes and Laverty moved up in the field again, and after 21 laps Sykes saw the checkered flag in tenth, Laverty in twelfth.
Quotes after race one in Estoril.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “First of all, congratulations to Johnny Rea. Seemingly untouchable, he went to his sixth World Championship title in a row – respect! Our performance so far has not been satisfactory. Since the first free practice we have had difficulties adapting to the new track. The experiences from this season, in which most – known – tracks offered little grip, do not seem to help us here. We’re just not adapting quickly enough to new conditions and new routes at the moment. We have to work on this for the future, but we have already introduced the necessary methodology in the run-up to this final. What we can take away as positive is that our lap times were stable over the entire race. However, they were too slow to have a say in the battle for the top positions. Not least for this reason, we are looking forward to the knowledge that we will be able to collect during the test on Monday. Then we will be using a few components of the BMW M 1000 RR in preparation for 2021 in order to assess the potential. But now our focus is on tomorrow, Sunday: We are analyzing today’s data in order to present ourselves stronger in the Superpole Race and in race two.
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “Today’s Superpole was a bit disappointing. Tom was only a few tenths of a second missing from the second row of the grid, but he couldn’t take full advantage of the qualifying tires. Eugene lacked grip on the rear tire and was unable to set a good lap time as a result. The race was very exciting in places. We got into a good rhythm with Tom, and he was part of a group in which places five to twelve were only separated by a few seconds. So we were hoping for a top six result. Generally speaking, we’re not happy with tenth place, but I think his overall pace was promising and we gathered some important information in the race. Eugene drove with the same pace as in practice and qualifying, and also drove similar times in the race, which corresponded to twelfth place. “
Tom Sykes: “We got off to a good start in today’s first race, but I just got a bit out of the way at turn one. After that we found a good rhythm and it was a shame because fifth place was only a few seconds away, but I was at the wrong end of a large group. You can clearly see that our bike works really well in some areas, but today I just lacked a bit of mechanical grip and engine power. But it is what it is. This year is ticked and my goal is now to get the best possible results and to collect information, to use this as a basis for the winter test and then to get to where we need to go next year. “
Eugene Laverty: “This route is generally difficult for us. The slow corners you take in first gear don’t suit our bike, but I did what I could today. We were slow, but at least we were consistent and I kept my lap times within three tenths of a second from the start. Nevertheless, we have gathered some important information. I’ve played with my posture a bit to give the guys a direction to work in and for the final two races tomorrow we’re going to try something different again. Our problem is that we have difficulties braking the bike and really accelerating out of the corners. But we have a couple of ideas. No miracle will happen overnight, but we have to make progress. “
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.