BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team in Thailand: Both BMW S 1000 RRs in the points in the first Buriram race.

Buriram. The ‘Chang International Circuit’ in Buriram,
Thailand is the second track which sees the brand new BMW S 1000 RR
in action in its FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) debut
season. In Saturday’s race, both BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team riders
finished in the points again: Tom Sykes (GBR) crossed the line in
ninth while Markus Reiterberger (GER) took 14th place.

Temperatures were already tropical for Superpole qualifying in
the early afternoon, reaching 34 degrees Celsius. Sykes secured sixth
place on the second row on his RR and Reiterberger finished Superpole
in 11th. The race itself was held in the late afternoon
local time. After 20 laps, Sykes claimed another top-ten finish with
ninth position. Reiterberger also increased his points tally by taking
14th place.


Quotes after race one at Buriram.


Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “The
results of the first race are inline with our expectations. We were
able to confirm the success of our updates and sort out other issues.
Now we are looking forward to tomorrow’s Superpole race. Given the
current top-speed deficit however, it would still be unrealistic to
expect that we can hold our grid positions in the races.”


Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK
“Tom had a real good Superpole. He started the session
pretty slowly and did not quite get into his rhythm. Then he put the
qualifying tyre on and really pulled it out of the bag to qualify in a
very strong sixth position on the second row. Markus did not quite get
the best out of his qualifying tyre but nevertheless he safely rode
through onto a reasonable position on the grid. In the race, we knew
where we would end up roughly within the field. The target was a
top-ten position and I think, with the deficit in the straight-line
speed, Tom did impressively and showed his professional approach to
bring it home in the position he did. We got some valuable data and I
am sure we can make some improvements overnight. Markus dropped back
in the turmoil of the first corner after the start. He had difficult
opening laps, lost positions, ran wide a couple of time when
struggling on braking and so finished in 14th. Nevertheless
we know what his issues are and we can rectify them overnight. All in
all, I’m very happy with progress. Four race starts, four race
finishes, no major problems and lots of data, and the guys are working
very hard together.”


Tom Sykes: “I think everyone saw today the potential
of the BMW S 1000 RR. In the corners and in the braking areas, I think
our potential is very high. It’s just a bit unfortunate that we are
missing out on straight-line speed and so we were losing positions on
the straight. I was very happy with the performance in the corners,
the corner speed and the general turning of the bike. Again: the first
time I rode this bike was on 18th December. It is a very
early stage of the programme. I have a lot of experience and to just
put things into perspective I think that we are doing a very, very
good job. For now we have a limitation on speed performance but in the
areas of chassis, suspension, electronics everybody did a great job
already and honestly the handling of the bike is impressive. And even,
considering the nature of the track, to do these lap times is
promising for me, also considering what we are losing in the first two
sectors. When I had battles on the track today I was actually
surprised how strong we were in some areas. So we keep working!”


Markus Reiterberger: “We’ve made a change from
yesterday to today which we benefitted from in the third free practice
as I was able to ride fast and consistent lap times. For the Superpole
we then made another small adjustment which gave me even more
confidence. I had a good start in the race, but then I was a bit
unlucky in the first corner and on the back straight. Unfortunately I
lost some positions. In the turmoil I could not ride my own rhythm. In
addition, it seems that I could not quite brake as I would like to.
Then I made a mistake and went wide but I was able to bring home two
points, although of course our expectations are higher. But I honestly
did not have an ideal feeling with the bike during the race. We will
now continue to work on further getting to know, and improving, the
whole package.”