Autódromo Internacional do Algarve

The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team kicked off the final race weekend in Europe after completing today’s free practice sessions at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (Portugal). BMW Factory rider Eugene Laverty again stepped in for Tom Sykes as he was declared unfit to ride by the circuit medical team. Eugene began his FP1 well and was inside the top 10 until he crashed at T8 in dramatic fashion. Fortunately, Eugene was OK, however his BMW M1000RR was damaged in the crash and was unable to finish the session. Eugene made some changes to his bike for the FP2 and posted some respectable times as he ran a race simulation on the same tyre throughout. His overall position on day 1 was P15.

Michael van der Mark was fast out the garage in this morning’s FP1 session and immediately was setting good lap times. Throughout the session, Mickey stayed in the top 10 places with just +0.803 separating him to first place. In FP2 Mickey struggled to make big improvements to his times from FP1 and slipped down into 11th overall for the day.



“From Michaels side it was a frustrating day to be honest. We can’t give him a chassis he is comfortable with. He is happy with the electronics and power delivery but just can’t seem to finish the corner off and attack it like he wants to which is really holding him back at the moment, so we have a lot of work to do overnight. Hopefully we can make a step, but three tenths will move us up into the top 6. But clearly 11th is a tough one too take. 

Eugene had a tough day. He was on a quick lap this morning in FP1 and touched the white line at T8 and the result was catastrophic. A lot of damage to the bike which the guys did a great job in getting him out in FP2. In the second session, Eugene went out on the same rear tyre the full session and his fastest laps were right at the end, which is promising so I think he will make some progress tomorrow. Overall, a tough day at the office but we look forward to tomorrow and I think we will see a step up from both riders.” 


“To be honest we started off quite well today. I felt good the first few laps this morning and we had good pace right away. We thought we could improve the bike in the afternoon but for some reason we couldn’t improve, which was quite disappointing but as always, we keep working. Our pace isn’t that bad but it’s really tight at the top, so we need to find a couple of tenths to be able to fight with the guys ahead. We will analyse and make some big changes for tomorrow’s FP3 as we need to make that jump forward.”


“Today started out disastrous with the crash I had this morning. I touched the white line at T8 just as Leon Haslam had done just before but I didn’t expect it to be like ice and crashed quite suddenly. I was lucky to come away unscathed but unfortunately destroyed the bike. In the end it has become a positive as I destroyed that chassis so I had to try a different spec chassis which turned out to be better for me. Midway through FP2 we used my electronic set up from earlier in the year, so in terms of traction control and power delivery that transformed the bike. It now feels like my bike I had at the end of 2020. So I finished the day very pleased.”