BMW Motorrad Motorsport WorldSBK riders display fighting spirit on a tough weekend in Misano.

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Misano. The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK riders displayed fighting
spirit at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli (ITA) as they
attempted to cope with challenges during a weekend of adversity. On
Sunday, Garrett Gerloff (USA) from the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team
finished eighth in race two, recording his best result of the season
so far in a main race. The best results for Scott Redding (GBR) from
the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team were two 11th-place finishes.
In the second main race, Loris Baz (FRA / Bonovo action BMW Racing
Team) moved up from the back of the field to 12th place. Tom Sykes
(GBR), stepping in for the injured Michael van der Mark (NED) for
the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, improved as the weekend
progressed and chalked up his best result of the season by finishing
13th in race two. Misano hosted the fifth round of the FIM Superbike
World Championship 2023.

Superpole qualification on Saturday morning did not go according to
plan as the session was brought to a premature close; yellow flags
initially made an appearance and were then replaced by the red flag to
end the session with riders still out on their flying laps. Redding
was classified in 12th place, with Gerloff 14th, Sykes 18th and Baz
19th. Baz was later demoted three places for race one due to a penalty
incurred during the third practice session. The best BMW racer in the
first race on Saturday afternoon was Redding in 11th place, while
Gerloff finished 13th, Sykes 16th and Baz crossed the line in 17th position.

Gerloff was able to make up some places in the Superpole Race on
Sunday morning and he was classified in ninth position when the race
was ended after an accident three laps before the finish. The result
saw Gerloff move up to the third row on the grid for race two. Redding
was in 11th place, with Baz 13th. Sykes was able to continue racing
after taking a tumble and was classified in 20th place.

The BMW riders once again displayed fighting spirit in the second
main race. Gerloff dropped back a few places at the start but battled
his way back during 21 laps of racing to take the chequered flag in
eighth – his best result of the season so far in a main race.
Technical problems forced his team-mate Baz to head for the pits after
the sighting lap. He started from the back of the field and battled
his way up to 12th place. Sykes started from 17th and crossed the
finish line in 13th position, also his best result of the season.
Redding made a superb start, moving up from 13th to ninth, but then
struggled during the race. He fell back but gritted his teeth, battled
on and finished the race in 14th position.

The sixth round of the season in the WorldSBK 2023 will take place
from 30th June to 2nd July at Donington Park (GBR).

Reactions to the race in Misano.

 

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director:
“Looking at Sunday, eighth place for Garrett in race two was
a bright spot. However, the gap to the leading Ducati is incredible.
Finishing 30 seconds behind the winner is not what we expected or were
aiming for. Others seem to be struggling too, and we see again and
again how important grid positions are for the race. The pace of some
of our riders was similar to that of the guys in fourth, fifth and
sixth places. However, the red flag during the Superpole hit us hard,
even though others were affected just as much. That determines how the
rest of the weekend will go. But in the heat and high humidity we had
here in Misano, the guys certainly displayed a great fighting spirit.
Hats off once again to Loris, who had to cope with the technical
setback in race two and then raced from the back of the field to
finish 12th. Our lads gave their all. We will continue working hard as
we focus on Donington Park, a circuit where we have consistently
produced good performances in recent years. We hope that we will be
able to get back into the top five there at least.”

 

Garrett Gerloff, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 14 / R01:
13 / SP Race: 9 / R02: 8
): “Today was a better day than
yesterday, that’s a positive. I am happy with the work the team did
last night. I got on the bike this morning and felt a lot better than
yesterday. So, I was feeling confident going into the Superpole race
and we had a little bit of good luck, but bad luck for Danilo Petrucci
and Iker Lecouna who crashed. But it put us into ninth place which we
needed to start in that position for race two. We were having a few
issues with the start; I don’t think I am doing it 100% right and
there eems to be a strange feeling with the clutch. But I’m not making
any excuses, I had a bad start, and I did my best to work my way back
through. I am reasonably happy with the eighth place we got today but
I know that we can do more. I am really motivated for the next races
at Donington. It’s a couple of weeks until then, but I will be ready
for sure.”

Scott Redding, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 12 / R01:
11 / SP Race: 11 / R02: 14):
“The weekend was quite
difficult in general. We didn’t have the pace again, but we tried to
make the best of it. We were always two or three tenths slower than
the second group in the race and just tried to get a good start and be
there as long as possible, but it was difficult even in the first few
laps. Then as the weekend went on, I just struggled more. Everyone
went faster and I went slower. I struggled with the engine brake,
we’ve checked the data, and there is some inconsistency with it, which
doesn’t help me getting into the corner and prepare the exit, it is
just pushing the bike all the time. So, again we have more work to do
to find out how we can improve the situation. It has not been the
weekend we wanted; it is quite difficult for us at the moment, but we
will keep working to find a solution.”

Loris Baz, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 19 / R01: 17 /
SP Race: 13 / R02: 12
): “It was a strange day today. At the
beginning, it was frustrating because during yesterday’s race, I felt
that the bike was getting slower and slower, but we couldn’t find out
why. It was the same in the Superpole race. I was riding fast and had
a good pace and think I could have been not too far away from Garrett.
But then something was wrong with the bike. It was pretty slow on the
straight line, and I also had some issues with going into false
neutral in a couple of places which cost me a lot of time. I was
disappointed after the Superpole race as it was the first time since
my injury that I felt I was having a good run. We decided to start
race two with the second bike because we were not able to repair the
damage until the start of the second race. Unfortunately, on the
sighting lap I saw smoke coming out of the bike but didn’t feel that
the engine was broken. I went back to the pits and the team did an
amazing job fixing it in time for the race start. I think it was just
a sensor that wasn’t in the right place. I had to start from the back
of the grid which wasn’t ideal, but I had a good start and was soon
where I would have been if I had started from my normal position. I
was able to run a good pace so a big thank you to all the mechanics
because without them I would have been out before the race started.
Hopefully our bad luck is finally over.”

Tom Sykes, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 18 / R01: 16
/ SP Race: 20 / R02: 13):
“Obviously, I was disappointed
with the starting position which really affected our race performance.
I felt that I had a good start in the last race today but
unfortunately somebody hit me again and moved the position of my brake
lever, so I lost some positions and honestly couldn’t do much on the
track. I really need to find a setting where I can set a better lap
time. The consistency is not a problem, but we are missing pace in
some areas and can’t set a good lap time for the first part of the
race. It has been a very good weekend in terms of gathering
information though. Of course, it is always difficult to come and try
and find a base setting for myself during a race weekend, but the guys
have worked hard so thanks to the whole team. Certainly now, there is
a lot more information to help us move forward.”

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