Alcañiz. BMW Motorrad Motorsport gained more valuable experience for the further development of the BMW M 1000 RR at the tenth of this season’s twelve events in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). Scott Redding (GBR / ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) battled through the pain he was suffering following an accident at home and twice finished eleventh. His team-mate Michael van der Mark (NED) also demonstrated an upwards trend.
Redding and van der Mark ended qualifying in 13th and 14th places respectively. Redding struggled at the start and slipped back to 16th before finding his rhythm. In the end, he crossed the finish line eleventh. Van der Mark climbed into the top ten around the midway point of the race, but then dropped back a little and ended the race in 13th place.
In the Superpole race on Sunday morning Redding came home eleventh, van der Mark 14th. However, the Dutchman was subsequently promoted to 13th following a penalty awarded to another rider. In the second main race on Sunday afternoon, Van der Mark rocketed into the top ten at the start and was still running there until before the finish, ultimately crossing the line just a few tenths of a second behind eleventh place. Redding came home in 14th place.
The eleventh and penultimate round of the 2023 WorldSBK season takes place this weekend (29th September to 1st October) at Portimão (POR).
Reactions to the MotorLand Aragón round.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “After the positive results of late, particularly courtesy of Garrett at Magny-Cours, we arrived here with plenty of momentum. We were also able to confirm a number of changes to the bike. However, it was not our most lucky weekend. The initial situation was not ideal for the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. Scott arrived on Thursday with an injury which he had picked up between race weekends. Respect to him for carrying on through the pain. It did not look as though he was going to be able to continue after the first free practice session. We hope he now recovers quickly. Michael is still working on getting fit. He had an outstanding start in race two which saw him climb as high as seventh, and then had a good battle with the two Hondas. It was very pleasing to see him having fun in the race again. We now move on to Portimão, a circuit that should generally suit us better than Aragón.”
Scott Redding, #45 ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 13 / R01: 11 / SP Race: 11 / R02: 14): “In general, the weekend was a little bit better for me with the bike than when we were here last year. This was already something. I enjoyed the Superpole race. I was able to fight a little bit for the top ten which was my target this weekend. For race two, I was feeling quite confident that I could achieve a top ten. But immediately after two laps I just did not feel the grip and I was really struggling a lot. In the long corners, I didn’t have the grip to go out of the corners. It was really difficult. It was only on the last laps when the tyre was really worn out when there was a little bit of something coming. I was quite surprised because I was feeling like I could possibly go for the top ten in this race and then it was the complete opposite so I am a little bit unhappy. We need to understand why that happened because yesterday it was a lot better. Overall we come away with the weekend a little bit more calm than in Magny-Cours and now we go on to Portimão.”
Michael van der Mark, #60 BMW M 1000 RR, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 14 / R01: 13 / SP Race: 13 / R02: 11): “This morning, we made a change to the bike and I felt comfortable with it. I was quite consistent in the warm-up. In the Superpole race, we tried the SCQ tyre because we had nothing to lose and honestly, I felt good but I just couldn’t really overtake people in front of me and I was missing some confidence to attack so I am not really happy with my Superpole race. But in race two, I had a really good start and a good pace right from the beginning. I could stay with a couple of guys and I was happy with the bike. After a couple of laps I started to struggle at the entries but the pace was still okay. Unfortunately I struggled more in the end and I got passed. But anyway, we made some good progress in race two and I start to feel better and better on the race distances so I am quite happy that.”