WorldSBK at Barcelona: Ivo Lopes stands in for the injured Michael van der Mark in the BMW Motorrad Motorsport family.

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Munich. The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK family has a new addition
from Portugal for round four of the 2023 FIM Superbike World
Championship (WorldSBK) at Barcelona (ESP) this weekend. Ivo Lopes
(POR), who has enjoyed success for several years with the easyRace
BMW Team in the Spanish Superbike Championship (ESBK), will stand in
for injured BMW Motorrad WorldSBK works rider Michael van der Mark
(NED) at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. He races alongside Scott
Redding (GBR) for the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team.

 

26-year-old Lopes was crowned Portuguese Superbike champion in 2019
and became the first Portuguese to win the Spanish Superbike
Championship in 2021 – on a BMW M 1000 RR with the easyRace BMW Team.
In the 2023 season, he has claimed one victory and two second places
from the four ESBK races so far. That puts Lopes top of the table in
Spain after the opening two events of the season. Lopes is now set to
make his WorldSBK debut at Barcelona.

Van der Mark fractured his left thigh when he crashed out of the
second main race at Assen (NED). He was operated on successfully in
Groningen (NED) and is now committed to the recovery process at home.
It is not yet clear when van der Mark will be able to race again. His
replacement at any other events he may miss will be announced at a
later date.

The ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and the Bonovo action BMW Racing
Team attended the Barcelona WorldSBK tests in March. In action back
then were Redding, van der Mark and Garrett Gerloff (USA). Loris Baz
(FRA) was unable to take part in the test due to injury to his foot,
which he sustained in Indonesia. The Frenchman returned to the grid in Assen.

Quotes ahead of the Barcelona round.

 

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director:
“First of all, we wish Michael a good recovery. It was good
to hear that the operation in Groningen was a success. We are in
constant contact and he has already made the first small improvements.
However, he should take the time he needs to return to full fitness.
At the same time, we welcome Ivo Lopes to WorldSBK. We have known Ivo
for a long time in the Portuguese and Spanish championships, where he
has repeatedly shown what he is capable of on the BMW M 1000 RR. We
are pleased to be able to give him the opportunity to go racing in the
World Championship. On the whole, we are excited about the Barcelona
weekend. The test there at the end of March was very productive. We
hope we can back up the progress we saw at Assen, particularly with
Scott claiming his best result of the season so far at Barcelona.”

Garrett Gerloff, #31 BMW M 1000 RR, Bonovo action BMW Racing
Team:
“I’m really excited for Barcelona. We tested there
not long ago and I felt confident with the bike and with the setup so
I’m looking forward to hopefully a good weekend. It’s kind of my home
race since I live in Andorra. It’s not too far away. I also have my
family and friends coming and I’m really excited as I have them coming
to a race for the first time ever in WorldSBK, so I’m very excited and
hope to have a good weekend.”

Scott Redding, #45 BMW M 1000 RR, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK
Team:
“Barcelona is one of the more difficult tracks for us
in the season. We’ve also been testing there this year which is good
but so did many other people. We will be just be looking to again
improve what is the weak point of our bike and see what we can do. I
think that there will be hotter conditions at Barcelona, so obviously
a lot comes in with tyres as well. I’m looking forward to getting to
Barcelona and going again.”

Ivo Lopes, BMW M 1000 RR, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK
Team:
“I would like to thank BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the
ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team for the opportunity they are giving
me at Barcelona. I have always dreamed of racing in WorldSBK, and that
dream is now coming true. I know the Barcelona circuit very well, as I
do the BMW M 1000 RR. However, the WorldSBK version of the bike is
obviously different to the one I ride in the Spanish championship. I
will work very hard at the weekend and give it my all to support the
team and BMW Motorrad Motorsport as well as possible. I would like to
thank them for the faith they have put in me, and also to wish Michael
van der Mark a speedy recovery!”

Loris Baz, #76 BMW M 1000 RR, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team:
“It’s cool now to be able to have a race soon after Assen. I
expect to feel much better on the bike than I was at Assen. Those two
weeks were a big help for my foot. I feel better and better every day
and also, I’m coming back into shape after so many weeks not being
able to do anything. Of course, I missed the Barcelona test, which is
not ideal, but I felt good on the bike when I jumped on it last time.
We know we need to improve the full package, but I was able to go fast
pretty soon after my injury. Now I hope missing the test is not making
a big impact. I just hope we have more luck than the last couple of
rounds, especially with the bike issue we had at Assen. It’s always
nice to ride at Barcelona and I hope we can really start our season
there after three difficult rounds. I’m looking forward to it.”

Track Facts Barcelona.

Circuit
length

4.627
km – clockwise

Corners

14 – 8 right-handers, 6 left-handers

Pole
position

Left

Longest
straight

900 metres

Grip level

Medium / low

Track
layout

Very
long straight, flowing sections

Strain on
brakes

Medium

Amount at full
throttle

27 %

Top speed / lowest
speed

312
km/h / 58 km/h

Best overtaking
opportunity

T1

Key
factors

Traction, engine performance

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