On race Sunday at the ‘Chang International Circuit’ in Buriram, Thailand, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team continued to collect valuable data with the brand new BMW S 1000 RR. For the two riders, Tom Sykes (GBR) and Markus Reiterberger (GER), warm-up, Superpole Race and race two were on the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) programme. They completed more kilometres under race conditions to gain further experience for the development of the new Superbike. In the end, Reiterberger finished race two in eleventh place, while Sykes had to retire due to a technical problem.
In the Superpole race on early Sunday afternoon Sykes took the flag in tenth position while Reiterberger finished 14th. Sykes was therefore tenth on the grid for race two, held in the late afternoon local time, while Reiterberger started from 12th place. Both BMW riders made up positions at the start. As the race went on, Sykes was in ninth place but then experienced issues with the clutch and had to stop his bike at the side of the track. Reiterberger collected five more world championship points by finishing in 11th position.
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and WorldSBK will now return to Europe. The third round of the season will be held from 5th to 7th April at MotorLand Aragón near Alcañiz (ESP).
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “The grid positions after the Superpole race met our expectations and were okay. The second main race, however, was rather disappointing for us, with Tom retiring and Markus having quite a gap to the front. Tom had to stop due to a slipping clutch. We will now analyse in detail what caused it. Markus was able to collect a few points by finishing 11th. Now we need to take advantage of the short break to complete the next updates at the factory, taking the next steps on our way forward.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “Tom had a great Superpole race. Again, we were focusing on the top ten positions. He got a really good start, got pushed wide a little bit on turn one but worked his way through. By the time he was in turn three, he was in a strong position. He settled in with a good routine and got a strong finish. Tom’s main race unfortunately suddenly came to a close. He had settled into a good rhythm, the track was just coming to him, the lap times had started to drop but then unfortunately he had a technical issue that dropped him out. Markus really struggled today finding a comfortable bike, which has been a problem all weekend. He could not find a good feeling with the chassis, especially with the front end. Until we can give him that real comfortable feel he’s struggling to really push to close the gap towards the front guys. We have to be happy still overall for the weekend in Buriram – disappointing with the DNF for Tom – but I think we still go away with a lot of positives and are looking forward to Aragón.”
Tom Sykes: “After a couple of laps I felt that something was wrong. It’s a bit frustrating because we had made a change to the bike and it really felt good. On the positive side I’m really surprised to come here to this race circuit and to be inside the top ten with our disadvantage on the straight, so to be inside the top ten is really promising in my opinion. Honestly, in the approach and entry of many corners, the chassis and the set-up on the BMW S 1000 RR is really an advantage compared to our competition so overall there are quite a lot of positives for me to take. The negative is obviously, as we saw at Phillip Island, that we are giving a lot away on the straights but hopefully that won’t be a problem anymore in the not so distant future.”
Markus Reiterberger: “In the Superpole race, I had a great start and was right behind Tom after the first corner. I also had nice battles on the opening laps, but then another rider almost got me off the bike and I had to go straight. As a result, I lost six positions. When I then made a mistake, the race was more or less over for me. In the main race I struggled with the issue that has been causing us difficulties all weekend: that I could not delay the bike well enough and I had no feeling for the front of the bike. We tried to get a grip on that and improved things step by step, but unfortunately it just was not enough over the distance, especially when it got hotter and the grip level went down. Our gap towards the front mainly results from the time lost on the straights, but I’m not worried about that. Here I trust the guys in the factory that we get more power, and then the results will be better as well. But I have to continue to work on getting confidence in the front wheel when turning in and in the corners.”