17th March 2019
Chang International Circuit
The final day of the Pirelli Thai Round arrived on us here at the Chang International Circuit in hope of another solid string of results for both Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger.
Resuming race proceedings this afternoon the BMW duo lined up on the grid ahead of the 10 lap Tissot Superpole sprint race, Sykes in P6 and Reiterberger P11.
Tom looked to replicate his previous race getaway however didn’t quite get the start he was hoping for going into T1 and was pushed back a few positions. Sykes looked settled during the course of the race and as a result brought the BMW S 1000 RR home in tenth position after an unfortunate red flag declared the final result.
Markus also made a good start to the race sitting just behind his teammate Sykes going into T2, however to be pushed wide the very next lap going into the final corner - demoting him to P17. With Camier and Warokorn both colliding on lap 6 Markus ended race in P14, landing him on the fourth row ahead of Race 2.
Race 2 vastly approached us and the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team were again back on the grid ready for the final race of the weekend. Sykes got off to a solid start fighting with the reining WSS champion Sandro Cortese, however despite his good start Tom Sykes’s day would unfortunately be cut short due to a technical issue on lap 3.
Looking to improve on his P14 earlier in the day Markus took the grid in P12, however with the absent Eugene Laverty alongside him he would gain a position now starting in P11.
The German got off to reasonable start and maintained his position for the first two opening laps. Lap 3 saw the Ducati of Rinaldi and Spaniard Jordi Torres pass him, pushing him down to P13.
With his BMW teammate Sykes and #7 Davies retiring from the race, Reiterberger ended the race in P11 collecting a valuable 5 points for his efforts.
After an encouraging weekend here in Thailand the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team look forward to Round 3 of the FIM Motul World Superbike Championship to continue their development of the new BMW S 1000 RR.
Marc Bongers - BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
“The grid positions after the Superpole race met our expectations and were okay. The second main race, however, was rather disappointing for us, with Tom retiring and Markus having quite a gap to the front.
Tom had to stop due to a slipping clutch. We will now analyse in detail what caused it. Markus was able to collect a few points by finishing 11th. Now we need to take advantage of the short break to complete the next updates at the factory, taking the next steps on our way forward.”
Shaun Muir – Team Principal
“Tom had a great Superpole Race. Again, we were focusing on the top ten positions. He got a really good start, got pushed wide a little bit on turn one but worked his way through. By the time he was in turn three, he was in a strong position. He settled in with a good routine and got a strong finish. Tom’s main race unfortunately suddenly came to a close. He had settled into a good rhythm, the track was just coming to him, the lap times had started to drop but then unfortunately he had a technical issue that dropped him out.
Markus really struggled today finding a comfortable bike for him which has been a problem all weekend. He could not find a good feeling with the chassis, especially with the front end. Until we can give him that real comfortable feel he’s struggling to really push to close the gap towards the front guys.
We have to be happy still overall for the weekend in Buriram. Disappointing with the DNF for Tom but I think we still go away with a lot of positives and are looking forward to Aragón.”
Tom Sykes (GBR)
“After a couple of laps I felt that something was wrong. It’s a bit frustrating because we had made a change to the bike and it really felt good. On the positive side I’m really surprised to come here to this race circuit and to be inside the top ten with our disadvantage on the straight. So to be inside the top ten is really promising in my opinion.
Honestly, in the approach and entry of many corners, the chassis and the set-up on the BMW S 1000 RR is really an advantage compared to our competition. So overall there are quite a lot of positives for me to take. The negative is obviously, as we saw in Phillip Island, that we are giving a lot away on the straights but hopefully that won’t be a problem anymore in the not so distant future.”
Markus Reiterberger (GER)
“In the Superpole Race, I had a great start and was right behind Tom after the first corner. I also had nice battles on the opening laps, but then another rider almost got me off the bike and I had to go straight. As a result, I lost six positions.
When I then made a mistake, the race was more or less over for me. In the main race I struggled with the issue that has been causing us difficulties all weekend: that I could not delay the bike well enough and I had no feeling for the front of the bike. We tried to get a grip on that and improved things step by step, but unfortunately it just was not enough over the distance, especially when it got hotter and the grip level went down.
Our gap towards the front mainly results from the time lost on the straights, but I’m not worried about that. Here I trust the guys in the factory that we get more power, and then the results will be better as well. But I have to continue to work on getting confidence in the front wheel when turning in and in the corners.”