Donington Park

The forecasted weather for this weekend’s #GBRWorldSBK predicts rain for Saturday and Sunday, however in todays Friday free practice it remained dry for both sessions. Tom Sykes, eager to return to his winning ways around the 4.023 m circuit was quick out the box and made an instant impact to the timing sheets in FP1. Despite a small crash at T11 in the early stages he ended the session in P3 (1’28.202). Michael van der Mark who took the double race win here in 2018 equally had a solid opening session this morning, lapping consistently in the low 1’29.000’s throughout FP1 to finish in P10 (1’29.104).

FP2 was not without drama for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. Sykes in the opening laps had a crash at T6 /7, barrel rolling his BMW M 1000 RR into the gravel. The crew did a fantastic job in getting Tom back out for the final 12 minutes as he finished the session in eleventh, P6 on combined times. Michael made some good steps in FP2 improving on his initial 1’29.104 lap time from this morning’s session. His best lap being a 1’28.549, just +1.025 from P1.



“Considering it been an expensive day, I am relatively pleased with the outcome. Tom had a really fast crash at T6 / 7 which left a lot of damage to the bike, so a huge credit to the boys in getting him out in the remaining moments of the session. We later found that we had twisted the swingarm, so Tom did a good job in the circumstances. Overall, I am happy with Tom, we know he’s got pace and will come good tomorrow morning in FP3, but again we are unsure on what the weather will bring.

Michael has worked through a number of issues; it hasn’t turned out to be a bad Friday for him considering his position in P10. We don’t want to be in P10 but there has been good progress with him today which I have to pleased about. The set-up tomorrow is going to be critical as we are unsure on the weather. So, this will be a blank canvas for everyone tomorrow and id imagine It will be a completely new grid set up.”



“It’s a shame Tom had a crash right at the start of FP2. He had P3 in the opening free practice session and I strongly believe he could have kept this position in the end. The guys had a lot of work to do with the bike which meant we unfortunately lost time in the session. Michael was in P10 overall today, just a few tenths behind P6 which was mainly lost in the final sector, struggling with similarly issues to the ones we had at the last round in Misano. Overall, I don’t think that today is too much of a reference, since it´s highly likely that it will be wet tomorrow and the cards are being reshuffled.


“Long and short, I said to myself before arriving here this weekend I will drag the bike around if I have too. In FP1 we took a step back in time with some of our set up and felt comfortable doing the lap times, which was positive. Then for FP2 we had a good plan but unfortunately, I had a crash on my first flying lap. I probably got a bit carried away but I got caught out with a rear slide, so I lost the front which was not ideal. I have to say the guys did an incredible job in getting her fixed. The bike got back to the box with 28 minutes to go and I was leaving the box with 12 minutes left on the clock so great work from those boys. It is what it is, I was not able to try the things I was wanting to do mid FP2 as a result but looks like the rest of the weekend is going to be fairly moist, so it doesn’t matter too much. But it was one of those days, if we had a dry race tomorrow, I feel like we are prepared regardless.”


“I really enjoyed riding today and its great to be back a Donington Park, I have some great memories here. This morning we felt good with the bike and made some small changes which improved our lap time. Unfortunately, we went the wrong direction at the end of FP1 which was frustrating but in FP2 we made a big change on the bike which helped stability in braking. I was having fun and enjoying my time out there, but we are losing too much time in the final sector with the stop and go section. We know this is a weak point of the BMW M 1000 RR but we for sure we can improve in this area, but overall, I don’t think we had such a bad Friday.”