The ‘Chang International Circuit’ in Buriram, Thailand is the second track which sees the brand new BMW S 1000 RR in action in its FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) debut season. In Saturday’s race, both BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team riders finished in the points again: Tom Sykes (GBR) crossed the line in ninth while Markus Reiterberger (GER) took 14th place.
Buriram. The ‘Chang International Circuit’ in Buriram, Thailand is the second track which sees the brand new BMW S 1000 RR in action in its FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) debut season. In Saturday’s race, both BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team riders finished in the points again: Tom Sykes (GBR) crossed the line in ninth while Markus Reiterberger (GER) took 14th place.
Temperatures were already tropical for Superpole qualifying in the early afternoon, reaching 34 degrees Celsius. Sykes secured sixth place on the second row on his RR and Reiterberger finished Superpole in 11th. The race itself was held in the late afternoon local time. After 20 laps, Sykes claimed another top-ten finish with ninth position. Reiterberger also increased his points tally by taking 14th place.
Quotes after race one at Buriram.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “The results of the first race are inline with our expectations. We were able to confirm the success of our updates and sort out other issues. Now we are looking forward to tomorrow’s Superpole race. Given the current top-speed deficit however, it would still be unrealistic to expect that we can hold our grid positions in the races.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “Tom had a real good Superpole. He started the session pretty slowly and did not quite get into his rhythm. Then he put the qualifying tyre on and really pulled it out of the bag to qualify in a very strong sixth position on the second row. Markus did not quite get the best out of his qualifying tyre but nevertheless he safely rode through onto a reasonable position on the grid. In the race, we knew where we would end up roughly within the field. The target was a top-ten position and I think, with the deficit in the straight-line speed, Tom did impressively and showed his professional approach to bring it home in the position he did. We got some valuable data and I am sure we can make some improvements overnight. Markus dropped back in the turmoil of the first corner after the start. He had difficult opening laps, lost positions, ran wide a couple of time when struggling on braking and so finished in 14th. Nevertheless we know what his issues are and we can rectify them overnight. All in all, I’m very happy with progress. Four race starts, four race finishes, no major problems and lots of data, and the guys are working very hard together.”
Tom Sykes: “I think everyone saw today the potential of the BMW S 1000 RR. In the corners and in the braking areas, I think our potential is very high. It’s just a bit unfortunate that we are missing out on straight-line speed and so we were losing positions on the straight. I was very happy with the performance in the corners, the corner speed and the general turning of the bike. Again: the first time I rode this bike was on 18th December. It is a very early stage of the programme. I have a lot of experience and to just put things into perspective I think that we are doing a very, very good job. For now we have a limitation on speed performance but in the areas of chassis, suspension, electronics everybody did a great job already and honestly the handling of the bike is impressive. And even, considering the nature of the track, to do these lap times is promising for me, also considering what we are losing in the first two sectors. When I had battles on the track today I was actually surprised how strong we were in some areas. So we keep working!”
Markus Reiterberger: “We’ve made a change from yesterday to today which we benefitted from in the third free practice as I was able to ride fast and consistent lap times. For the Superpole we then made another small adjustment which gave me even more confidence. I had a good start in the race, but then I was a bit unlucky in the first corner and on the back straight. Unfortunately I lost some positions. In the turmoil I could not ride my own rhythm. In addition, it seems that I could not quite brake as I would like to. Then I made a mistake and went wide but I was able to bring home two points, although of course our expectations are higher. But I honestly did not have an ideal feeling with the bike during the race. We will now continue to work on further getting to know, and improving, the whole package.”