WorldSBK in Magny-Cours: pole position celebrations combined with mixed feelings at BMW Motorrad Motorsport.


Magny-Cours. Pole position for the BMW M 1000 RR with new
all-time lap record, followed by a great fourth place in the first
race. BMW Motorrad factory rider Garrett Gerloff (USA) gave BMW
Motorrad Motorsport and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team plenty of
reasons to celebrate on Saturday at Magny-Cours (FRA). The American
racer gave another strong performance on Sunday, finishing fifth in
the second main race. The best race result for Scott Redding (GBR)
from the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team was seventh place on
Saturday. Loris Baz (FRA / Bonovo action BMW Racing Team) followed a
good qualifying session by finishing seventh in the Superpole race.
The best result for Michael van der Mark (NED / ROKiT BMW Motorrad
WorldSBK Team) was 13th position in qualifying and in the Superpole
race. Magny-Cours hosted the ninth round of the FIM Superbike World
Championship 2023 (WorldSBK).

Gerloff had already finished second in all three practice sessions,
showing just how fast he was at Magny-Cours. In the Superpole on
Saturday morning, he then gave another spectacular performance; with a
new all-time lap record of 1:35.453 minutes, the American racer
claimed his first WorldSBK pole position, and the first for the Bonovo
action BMW Racing Team. His team-mate Baz secured sixth place on the
grid. Redding was also on track for a top result for the ROKiT BMW
Motorrad WorldSBK Team on his BMW M 1000 RR, only to slide and fall.
He finished tenth, moving up to ninth on the grid due to a penalty for
another rider. Van der Mark finished the Superpole in 13th position.

Having started from pole position, Gerloff lost a few positions in
the turmoil of the opening corners. However, he remained in the top
five and crossed the line in fourth place as the best rider from a
team in the Independent standings. That was also Gerloff’s best race
result of the season so far. Redding finished the first race in
seventh place. Baz stayed in the top six throughout the opening third,
but then struggled with various problems and fell back through the
field. He finished in 13th position, while van der Mark crossed the
finish line in 16th.

The first lap of the Superpole race on Sunday morning featured an
unfortunate racing incident as the bikes with Redding and Gerloff at
the controls collided. Both riders went down. Gerloff then had to head
for the pits and retire, while Redding was able to rejoin the race. He
eventually crossed the line in 20th place. Baz finished seventh,
securing a good start position for the second main race. Van der Mark
finished the Superpole race in 13th position.

In race two on Sunday afternoon, Gerloff finished fifth and was once
again the best-placed representative of a team from the Independent
standings. The race was interrupted on lap five after an accident
involving Redding and Dominique Aegerter (SUI / Yamaha), before
restarting for 17 further laps. Baz crossed the line in twelfth place.
Redding was able to participate in the restart but then retired due to
a technical problem. Van der Mark was also unable to reach the finish
after taking a tumble.

The tenth round of the 2023 WorldSBK season will take place in two
weeks (22nd to 24th September) at MotorLand Aragón, Spain. BMW
Motorrad Motorsport, the four riders and both teams completed two
successful days of testing there at the end of August.

Reactions to the Magny-Cours round.


Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “It
all went wonderfully this weekend for Garrett and the Bonovo action
BMW Racing Team. I was delighted to see that Garrett was finally able
to convert his great pace from recent races into positive results.
All-time lap record, pole position, a great first race with a
fourth-placed finish. In the Superpole race, there was an unfortunate
racing accident involving Scott and Garrett. This had a negative
impact on our start position for the second main race. Unfortunately,
the accident involving Scott and Dominique – we send our very best
wishes to him – prompted a red flag. Of course, that throws everything
out of kilter. Garrett initially fell back from ninth place at the
restart, but then produced some superb lap times at the level of
Toprak and Johnny to race back up to fifth. I am very pleased that we
were able to show here what potential the bike has. Unfortunately,
Mickey was unable to develop a real feel for the bike over the weekend
as a whole. He is still working on his comeback after suffering that
serious injury. Scott had good pace and was able to show that by
finishing seventh in the first race. However, he had a Sunday to
forget, with a lot of bad luck. He has to collect himself and go back
on the attack at Aragón. Loris qualified well behind Garrett, but he
was unable to maintain the pace over the race distance. Overall, I am
extremely pleased that we were able to show the podium potential of
the bike, and we will build on that in the final three rounds.”


Garrett Gerloff, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 1 / R01: 4
/ SP Race: DNF / R02: 5):
“This weekend was pretty damn
good, and really close to being a dream weekend. At the end, having my
first pole position for myself and for the Bonovo action BMW Racing
Team and then two top-five finishes is something we can be very happy
with. And it was also a weekend we can use to build on for the future.
All in all we learned a lot and we can use this for the last three
rounds and I’m really looking forward to it.”


Scott Redding, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 10 / R01:
7 / SP Race: 20 / R02: DNF):
“Not my best weekend of luck.
I felt good with the bike this weekend but I was just a little bit
unlucky with a couple of crashes. I don’t ever remember crashing three
times in a weekend, so it was quite strange. It think because it was
so close with the laps times and to get the results there is really
small room for error. Obviously we had a crash in race two before the
re-start. The guys did a great job to get the bike ready to start the
final race – it was quite damaged. I felt good at the re-start and
then I had two long lap penalties to do. For me it was important to do
them, but I made a good start and made up positions. Then I started to
have some small engine troubles. I think that was from the crashes
this weekend, maybe I damaged the engine. It was not a good weekend
for us regarding results, but we had the pace and we felt good. So we
need to see if we can come back a little bit at Aragón.”


Loris Baz, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 6 / R01: 13 / SP
Race: 7 / R02: 12):
“It was a tough weekend and not what I
have expected. Especially after I wanted to continue in the way of
Imola and Most. From last year, I knew the bike was working well here,
but we just didn’t find what was needed. We also had some technical
issues and also our base set up was not suiting the track really well.
We were always a bit behind. We kept trying and tried to use Garretts
base, because he was obviously super strong. In qualifying it worked
well and it helped me a lot for the Superpole race but we were just
not ready for the long race. In races one and two it was actually just
about surviving and it’s really difficult to race like this, because
the only thing you’re trying is to not make any mistakes and not to
crash. So at the end I was just happy to bring the bike home and it
was for sure not the weekend we wanted to. But for sure we’re trying
again at Aragón. We have three more rounds to go and we’ll do our best
to have some good results.”


Michael van der Mark, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 13
/ R01: 16 / SP Race: 13 / R02: DNF):
“I was really looking
forward to the weekend and to being back racing but unfortunately it
turned out to be tough days and we never really managed to give me the
right feeling for the bike. We worked very hard and tried several
set-up options but did not find the right direction to go. We have
seen the potential of the BMW M 1000 RR here at Magny-Cours. That
makes me confident and the full focus is now on the next round at
Aragón. We’ve tested there and we will give everything to have a
stronger weekend there.”


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