Start of the European season in WorldSBK: BMW Motorrad Motorsport travels to the ‘Cathedral of Speed’.

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Munich. After a break of a few weeks, the European leg of the
FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) begins this weekend for
BMW Motorrad Motorsport. The iconic TT Circuit at Assen (NED) will
host round three of WorldSBK 2023 from 21st to 23rd April. The races
at the ‘Cathedral of Speed’ are a home outing for Michael van der
Mark (NED) from the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. The
headquarters of the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team, in the town of
Cuxhaven in northern Germany, is also just two and a half hours down
the motorway from Assen.

 

BMW Motorrad Motorsport has used the break in action to make more
progress with the new BMW M 1000 RR. At the end of March, both teams
attended tests at Barcelona, where they were able to evaluate various
components and set-up solutions. The riders in action were van der
Mark and Scott Redding (GBR) for the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team,
and Garrett Gerloff (USA) for the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team.

Loris Baz (FRA) was unable to take part in the test, due to the
injuries he sustained to his right leg at the second round of the
season at Mandalika (IDN) at the start of March. However, he plans to
return to the Assen grid, if the race doctors give him the green light
to do so.

Gerloff travels straight to Assen from his native USA. Last weekend,
he visited the MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin (USA),
where he performed a demonstration run on the new BMW M 1000 RR MotoGP
Safety Bike.

Quotes ahead of the Assen round.

 

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “The
break after the double-header in Australia and Indonesia was a long
one, and you get the feeling that the season is now really getting
underway. We saw a significant upward trend at Mandalika, but for
various reasons were not always able to convert it into corresponding
results. We have upped our game again during the break and evaluated
various updates for the BMW M 1000 RR. Our goal is to cut the gap to
the front-runners again at Assen, and thus to lay the foundation for a
strong European season. Assen is something very special – the history,
the atmosphere, the passionate fans. There is still some doubt about
what weather we can expect, but we have to be prepared for everything.
It is great that Loris feels ready for action again after his
injuries, and that he will start if the doctors allow it. He will
definitely still be impaired, but it is important for us all to also
have his feedback for the set-up of the bikes.”

Garrett Gerloff, #31 BMW M 1000 RR, Bonovo action BMW Racing
Team:
“I’m really excited to head to Assen this weekend
straight from MotoGP at Austin. I had a great weekend at the Grand
Prix with BMW, doing some PR stuff, but I’m obviously looking forward
to getting back to racing myself. We had a test with the Bonovo action
BMW Racing Team at Assen not so long ago and it was really good and
productive. I had the feeling we figured out a bunch of stuff that we
can use for the race weekend. So, I’m looking forward to it and will
just try to go fast.”

Scott Redding, #45 BMW M 1000 RR, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK
Team:
“Assen is a circuit that has been good for us in the
past. I did not too bad there last year and hopefully we can improve a
little bit. We have had a bit of time off which has been nice to
regroup a little bit. Now let’s see what we can do. You never know
what the weather will do at Assen, that is always a tricky one, but we
will be there to do our best anyway.”

Michael van der Mark, #60 BMW M 1000 RR, ROKiT BMW Motorrad
WorldSBK Team:
“I am obviously happy to be racing again. It
has been a long break since Indonesia but for me it was good to cure
my injured fingers. It takes some time and is still not perfect but it
will be no problem when riding. So it’s great to race again,
especially at Assen in front of the Dutch fans. This year I am much
fitter than last year so I am looking forward to it. The weather seems
to be perfect so I can’t wait to go fast in front of my home fans.”

Loris Baz, #76 BMW M 1000 RR, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team:
“I was trying everything to be in Assen. I got the final
approval from the surgeon on Friday morning, so all is good on this
side. Now it’s all about how I’ll feel on the bike and we will see how
it’s going to be. For sure, I have a lack of movement on the ankle and
the knee, so especially in the right corners, I have to see how it’s
going to be. It’s definitely not dangerous at all, there is no risk,
at least no more risk than normal. I am training and working as hard
as I can with the physio and all the people around me. I’m really
looking forward to being in Assen. I really love that track! It would
have been a heartbreak for me not to be at Assen. I’ll just do the
best I can. If I feel good, I’ll push as hard as I can to go and
improve the bike. If the ankle is a bit of a problem on Friday, then
we’ll maybe decide to just take it more easy. At the moment it’s very
hard to understand what to expect, but I’m just really happy to be
back on the bike. It’s been tough six weeks, but we were lucky with
the calendar.”

Track Facts Assen.

Circuit
length

4.542
km – clockwise

Corners

18 – 12 right-handers, 6 left-handers

Pole
position

Left

Longest
straight

300
metres (start-finish straight)

Grip level

High

Track
layout

Mainly flowing, partly very fast sections;
partly slow corners

Strain on
brakes

Comparably low

Amount at full
throttle

13 seconds

Top speed / lowest
speed

301
km/h / 59 km/h

Best overtaking
opportunity

T16

Key
factors

Much
confidence in the front in maximum lean angle and on the
brake; good stability

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