BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team continues its pre-season preparations with the BMW S 1000 RR in Spain and Portugal.

Jerez de la Frontera/Portimão. The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team
has continued its preparations for the 2020 season of the FIM
Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) with a double test. Last
week, the team and its riders Tom Sykes (GBR) and Eugene Laverty
(IRL) spent two days testing in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. This
was followed on Sunday and Monday by a further two days of testing
in Portimão (POR). The team used the tests to work through a
comprehensive programme with the BMW S 1000 RR. 


Both riders had two bikes at their disposal. This allowed Sykes,
Laverty and their respective crews to evaluate more new components and
many different set-up configurations, in order to establish the best
possible basis set-up in time for the start of the season. While it
rained repeatedly on both days in Spain, conditions were dry and sunny
at times in Portugal.


The two riders used the time between the two tests in Jerez de la
Frontera and Portimão for another important part of pre-season
preparations: fitness training. Sykes and Laverty trained together at
times. The final phase of preparations now begin at the team
headquarters in Guisborough (GBR) and at BMW Motorrad Motorsport in
Munich (GER). The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team heads to Philipp Island
(AUS) for a further two days of testing on 24th and 25th February,
before the new season of WorldSBK gets underway at the same venue from
28th February to 1st March.


Quotes after the tests at Jerez de la Frontera and Portimão.


Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “On
the whole, we are happy with both tests, as we were able to work
through an extensive programme with both riders. We travelled with
some new parts for the RR, including new wheels, and we made also more
steps forward in terms of electronic strategies and their detailed
set-up both in Jerez and Portimão. Over the course of the four days,
we were able to sort out some important issues on both sides of the
garage, and to gain a lot of information and data. We now have an even
clearer idea of what direction we need to head in on Phillip Island.
We also have reinforced the team in the form of new members, and the
double test was the perfect way to fully integrate them in our team.
We will now continue to work hard, to ensure we are as well prepared
as possible when we travel to Australia.”


Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK
“It was very productive days in Spain and Portugal with
a very successful finish at Portimão. Good weather greeted us here and
that also allowed us to go through the items we could not do in Jerez
due to rain. We’ve made big steps with the elcetronics with both
riders benefitting from it. Eugene overall got a lot of confidence now
going to Australia, Tom tried some settings he was not used to
evaluate them and to to find an even better direction for him. Both
riders and the team took the decision not to put any special
development or qualifying tyres on, so the times that we have got have
been on the normal race tyre. Overall, both riders are very satisfied
with the work we have conducted, we gathered a lot of valuable data
and have a good base to move into Australia. So it was a positive test
and we can’t wait to go to Australia.”


Tom Sykes: “I’m very happy with the two tests. Jerez
obviously was very challenging from the weather front but we were able
to utilise that and do some little fundamental things. It then was
much more consistent here in Portugal and we were just able to do a
lot of work with our BMW S 1000 RR. We just had to turn a bit of a
blind eye to what was going on on track and focus on what we are
doing. We worked really hard on different chassis set-ups, on the
brakes, electronic strategies… and the list goes on. A big credit to
the entire BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, the boys have worked really,
really hard over these days. Now it’s time to go back home and get
everything ready for Phillip Island and where we can focus more on performance.”


Eugene Laverty: “I am really delighted and
optimistic. The November test was a bit of a tough one as I got a few
surprises when I rode the RR for the first time. The work that the
guys did is incredible. That’s the nice thing of being involved with a
factory team again: the progress is so quick and these guys are so
intelligent. I give my comments but in the end my comments are only
backing up what they already know. These guys understand very well how
to make the bike work. The focus in Spain had been power delivery and
traction control and when we arrived at Portimão, we started to play
around with the chassis setting. And the performance in the end was
really good. So after these tests, I’m very happy, we’re in a good position.”