Donington Park. BMW Motorrad Motorsport made important progress at the sixth round of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) at Donington Park (GBR). Scott Redding (GBR) and the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team secured a top-four finish at their home race. However, the positive results were overshadowed by a serious accident at the start of the second main race. Tom Sykes (GBR) crashed. Loris Baz (FRA) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (ITA / Ducati) subsequently got involved in the incident and also went down. Sykes suffered multiple rib fractures and was taken to the hospital for further examination. Rinaldi also had to get medical treatment. Baz remained uninjured but did not participate in the restart of the second race.
In Saturday morning’s Superpole qualifying session, Sykes was the highest-placed BMW rider in eighth position. However, he had some bad luck in the closely contested session. On his second run, he was on his way to a standout lap time but was slowed by a yellow flag in the final sector, while Redding finished twelfth.
In the first race on Saturday afternoon, Sykes maintained a position in the top-eight until the final lap, while Redding steadily climbed up from twelfth place. Just before the finish line, Redding overtook Sykes, crossing the line in eighth position and achieving his second-best race result of the season. Sykes finished directly behind in ninth place.
The goal in Sunday’s Superpole race was to improve on the starting positions for the second main race in the afternoon. Gerloff succeeded by working his way up to seventh place, while Redding finished ninth. Sykes was in eighth place until the penultimate lap but then crashed. He resumed the race and finished in 18th position.
After the restart of Sunday’s second main race, Redding initially held eighth position before steadily advancing through the field in the second half of the race. On the 19th out of a total of 22 laps, he moved up to fourth place and successfully defended it until the end. That secured his best race result of the season so far.
The seventh round of the WorldSBK 2023 will take place from 14th to 16th July at Imola, Italy.
Reactions to the Donington Park round.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “It was a weekend that we conclude with mixed emotions. The weekend started off difficult due to the unpredictable weather. Both practice sessions on Friday had partly wet conditions, making it challenging to prepare for the races, but that applied to everyone, of course. Even in FP3 on Saturday morning, there were damp patches on the track, and qualifying was more or less the first dry session. We were performing quite well there. Tom had the potential to put the bike on the front row in ‘Tomington’ but he was unlucky with the yellow flag. With the other guys, we didn’t immediately find the right setup for the newly resurfaced track due to the lack of time in the practice sessions, however we had a stable pace with good results in the first race. Therefore, we started Sunday with confidence. Tom also gave a strong performance with stable lap times but had a small slide. As a result, Scott took ninth place. We had a good pace in this race as well.
The second main race started with Tom’s terrible crash, which subsequently affected Loris and Michael Ruben Rinaldi. It has just been confirmed that Tom has multiple rib fractures. He is currently undergoing further examinations in the hospital. We wish him a speedy recovery, and at this point, as BMW Motorrad, we would also like to send our best wishes to Michael. Scott grew stronger throughout the race, ploughed through the field, and in an extremely exciting battle, especially against the Kawasakis, secured a very strong fourth place. Just under two seconds behind, Garrett crossed the finish line in ninth place. These are pleasing results, especially with fourth place not far from the podium. We will carry this positive momentum with us to Imola.”
Scott Redding, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 12 / R01: 8 / SP Race: 9 / R02: 4): “Today has been pretty good. Warm up wasn’t the best for me so I thought it is going to be a hard day. The Superpole race was not bad and I finished ninth. I needed to be up there for race two. You saw the difference it makes as I had a good start. Unfortunately there was this accident, so I send my wishes to Tom and Michael. At the re–start, I got through pretty cleanly, and I do generally struggle at the start of the race to go with the front guys a little bit more. Then I thought to just keep the pressure on because I knew I come stronger. I was believing in myself to come better in the end. I had Petrucci in front and he was a bit faster so I could not get him but I got the Yamaha and I got the Kawasakis and just pushed until the end. It would have been nice to have a podium but to have a ride like that after such a difficult season is great.”