The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team today laid rubber to asphalt with Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty returning to WSBK action in Aragon following the 2-week break. The session didn’t start too well for Tom Sykes following a small electrical issue in the opening 10 minutes, forcing him to return his BMW S 1000 RR to the box. The mechanics however were able to get #66 Sykes back out on track with 15 minutes of the session remaining. Finishing in P5. (1'50.926)
FP2 held better fortune for the Yorkshireman as he went through his typical race simulation plan. Tom kept the original rear tyre throughout the session and was lapping consistent high 1’51.00 laps. Toms final position of the session, P8 however fifth on combined times.
Eugene Laverty struggled for pace in FP1 after finding himself down in P16 come the chequered flag. Laverty opted not to use a fresh rear tyre for FP1 and with temperature rising in the afternoon this did not have the effect it would in the cooler temperatures. Despite this, Eugene managed to get himself into a top 10 position. P16 on combined times. (1'52.028)
Shaun Muir - Team Pricipal
“Eugene handled the day well. Obviously, the disappointment of the news regarding next year is clearly going to have an impact on him, but he has been a true professional and got down to work. He had a reasonable day, P10 in FP2 but P16 overall so there is some work to do, but still managed to get a good run in. He tested out the new tyre compounds early which meant we have good direction to work to for tomorrow.
Tom started FP1 with a small technical issue which was not preventable, again ironing out those little issues that we should not be having however, Tom still managed to bounce back and set some good consistent lap times.
Overall happy with both riders. We can start tomorrow in good state of mind, track conditions are looking cooler which works well for everyone, however us particularly well, so we hope we can come out in strong position come Superpole."
Tom Sykes (GBR)
“I am very happy and relaxed. We came here knowing already we had lost two days off track time to our competitors from the test, but I have the experience and spun a lot of laps here. Unfortunately, we had a few setbacks today which lost us a lot of time in Free Practice, but the whole BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team have responded accordingly, we were still able to get through a lot of information for tomorrow. So overall I am happy with the way day 1 finished and I am looking forward to Superpole and Race 1 tomorrow."
Eugene Laverty (IRL)
“Overall P16 this morning, I was pretty slow as I didn’t go for the fresh tyre in FP1 but the temperatures were hotter which means the tyre didn’t work as well. We did finish in P10 in FP2 which showed some signs of progress. We have been playing a little bit of catch up as the other guys have had a test here last week. Strangely I have been struggling with the feeling in the front, it kept closing a lot in final breaking so the key for tomorrow is to work on that and gain some confidence in that area.
Portimao was good step forward for me in qualifying however I was still on that third row, my aim is to get up onto the second row. We have some work to do if we want to get there but being on those two rows gives you a chance to go with the boys at the front come the race."