WorldSBK: Ready for Donington Park.
Donington Park. A special round of the FIM Superbike World Championship 2022 awaits BMW Motorrad Motorsport this coming weekend. The fifth event of the season at Donington Park is the home race for the two BMW works riders Scott Redding and Eugene Laverty as well as for Shaun Muir Racing. After about a month’s break, BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the two teams, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team, are aiming to take the next step forward at Donington Park. The FHO Racing BMW Team has received a wildcard and will be competing with rider Peter Hickman.
Ilya Mikhalchik will once again race as a replacement for Michael van der Mark in the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. The Dutch rider will be there at Donington Park, but is still recovering from the femoral neck fracture that he suffered at Estoril.
BMW Motorrad Motorsport used the break after the race at Misano for brief testing at Donington Park. Redding and Loris Baz evaluated a range of updates for the BMW M 1000 RR, including changes to the electronics and the chassis.
Fans at the Donington Park race will also be able to welcome a well-known guest racer on the BMW M 1000 RR. Having claimed three wins together with the M RR at this year’s Isle of Man TT, Peter Hickman and the FHO Racing BMW Team will be competing as wildcard entrants in the British round of the WorldSBK. Hickman already has some WorldSBK experience, including his appearance as a replacement for Markus Reiterberger at Donington Park in 2019 for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. The wildcard spot marks the WorldSBK debut for the FHO Racing BMW Team, for which Hickman is also enjoying success in the British Superbike Championship (BSB).
Quotes ahead of the Donington Park round.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “We did not fail to take advantage of the break since the race at Misano and have been working hard on further development of the BMW M 1000 RR. The brief test with Scott and Loris two weeks ago at Donington went well, and we were able to evaluate and confirm a range of updates. Both riders provided positive feedback. Donington Park is a circuit where we have enjoyed success in the past. Now we are hoping to continue that at the weekend and close the gap to the leaders with both teams. Everyone will be working hard and concentrating on that. However, we are also really looking forward to Peter Hickman and the FHO Racing BMW Team competing at Donington with a wildcard. It is great that Faye Ho’s team is now taking the step onto the world championship stage. I am sure that it will also be a highlight for the British fans to see ‘Hicky’ in action in the WorldSBK.”
#45 Scott Redding
“Donington Park – the home race for me which I am really looking forward to. It’s the first time for me in WorldSBK to have fans in the paddock there so it will be a crazy weekend and I look forward to it. I am also looking forward to the second part of the season. Donington Park is a cool track for me, it is a lot of history there, the track has a lot of character and hopefully we can show what our hard work has been doing in pushing for some good results.”
#37 Ilya Mikhalchik
“I am looking forward to my third WorldSBK race weekend. The first race at Aragón was pretty good; I was within the top ten and riding with the really fast guys. Then the Misano weekend was a bit little difficult, because I did not have too much time to get used to the bike again after two months on the Stock and endurance bikes with different tyres. We just had a few free practice sessions and then went immediately into qualifying and race. But now, between Misano and Donington, I almost did not ride and this means that my mind will remember the bike from Misano. Donington is a really good track, I enjoyed it a lot when I was there in the past. It has a nice layout, the people there a great. So I am looking forward to it.”
#76 Loris Baz
“I’m really looking forward to the race weekend. Donington is always a place I really love since my first Superbike race there in 2012, which was actually my first Superbike race ever. I’ve been able to do some laps there two weeks ago thanks to our Bonovo action BMW Racing Team and BMW. We tried some updates so I hope it gets us closer to the top. It was good to have a break after Misano, because it was a tough weekend for us, so we had time to forget about it and move forward. Everyone is really highly motivated after the test. It looks like we are going in the right direction. Also, Donington was a great track for the BMW last year, so we come back to hopefully be able to fight for the top five.”
#50 Eugene Laverty
“Donington has been a strong circuit for BMW in recent years and we hope to continue that trend. I’m not satisfied with my performances at the last two rounds so the target must be to step up to the same level as Loris and Scott because both guys are riding the BMW M 1000 RR very well. I have a great crew around me working hard to give me a bike that I can race for 23 laps. Northern Ireland is just across the water so I count Donington as a home race. I’ll do my best to perform there in front of my family, friends and supporters.”
“I am really excited about the opportunity to take the FHO Racing BMW Team to the World Superbike stage. It is going to be the first time that FHO as a team will do an international event like this and I think that is really exciting. The team has only been going for a year and a half so to already be entering their first ever world championship race is pretty epic, really. I’ve raced in WorldSBK twice but both times it has been a last minute deal and I had ridden bikes that I did not know and I had never sat on before until the Friday morning. This time, I am going to ride my BSB bike, albeit with more electronics that are allowed in WorldSBK, but it is going to be the same bike that I have ridden quite a lot so I am looking forward to that. It will be a new experience for me, actually. Expectations wise, I think we are all very realistic. We are going for the experience to see what happens. I think it’s great for us as a team. Quite a few of us have done world championship races through one way or another, individually or with other teams, but we have never done it as a team together so I am looking forward to getting the whole group of us all in the same place having a go in World Superbikes. It is going to be really good weekend and I can’t wait to get started.”