After a short but busy winter break, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team kicked off the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship with the new BMW M 1000 RR at Phillip Island, Australia. The ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team claimed top-ten finishes, but on the whole it was a challenging weekend for both BMW factory riders Scott Redding (GBR) and Michael van der Mark (NED). The best race result was a ninth place for Redding in the opening race on Saturday.
After the first two practice sessions were held in sunshine and high temperatures on Friday, the weather changed on Saturday. Light rain started to fall in the third free practice session, but it was dry again by Superpole. Van der Mark in twelfth place was the best of the BMW riders in an extremely tight field with Redding finishing in 13th.
The rain returned for the start of the Saturday race. Van der Mark soon climbed to ninth place, but crashed on lap two and was forced out of the race. Redding worked his way through the field and into sixth place, but dropped back to ninth in the closing stages as his rear tyre fell off a cliff.
It rained again on Sunday morning, but the Superpole race took place in bright sunshine. Van der Mark was again the best-placed BMW rider in tenth. Redding crossed the finish line 13th at the end of the ten-lap sprint. In race two on Sunday afternoon, the BMW racers failed to make it into the top ten. Van der Mark was twelfth again, with Redding, Gerloff and Baz picking up points in 13th, 14th and 15th place.
The WorldSBK caravan now heads straight to Indonesia, where the second round of the season will take place this weekend (3rd to 5th March) at Mandalika.