WorldSBK in Estoril: the weekend summary.
Estoril. After the third race weekend of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship in Estoril, the results were mixed for BMW Motorrad Motorsport. Scott Redding of the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team finished an impressive fourth in the Superpole, before ending the races in eighth, seventh and 11th places. His team-mate Michael van der Mark crashed on Friday and fractured his right femur neck. The Bonovo action BMW Racing Team took victory in the Independent classification with Loris Baz on Saturday. However, Sunday did not go to plan for Baz and his team-mate Eugene Laverty. As well as the race action on the track, a central theme in Estoril was the 50th birthday of partner BMW M.
Michael van der Mark
The weekend in Estoril began with a big setback for BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, when van der Mark crashed in the first free practice session. He was successfully operated on in Lisbon on Friday evening and is already able to take a few steps on crutches. Van der Mark will return to his home in the Netherlands on Monday. The whole BMW Motorrad Motorsport family wishes him a speedy recovery.
Redding impressed with a strong fourth place in Saturday morning’s Superpole. In race one – in which he lined up with a special “50 years of BMW M” livery – he was battling in the top five until the halfway point. However, his front tyre then started to wear and Redding eventually crossed the line eighth.
Loris Baz and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team
Baz finished tenth in the opening race to ensure the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team once again won the Independent competition. Team-mate Laverty, who was ninth in the Superpole, fell back in the race and had to settle for 15th place.
Eugene Laverty & Loris Baz
Rain earlier in the day made for difficult, mixed conditions in the Superpole Race on Sunday morning. Redding finished seventh after 10 laps of racing. There was disappointment for the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team; like many other riders, Baz and Laverty both crashed out whilst running in the top eight. Redding came home eleventh in race two on Sunday afternoon, with Baz and Laverty 12th and 14th.
BMW M 1000 RR 50 Years Edition
To mark the 50th birthday of BMW M, BMW Motorrad presented the new BMW M 1000 RR 50 Years Edition. The anniversary model enjoyed a ceremonial unveiling on Friday evening – at an event in Villa d’Este on Lake Como (ITA), and at the same time in the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Hospitality in the paddock in Estoril. Here, Redding and BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Marc Bongers unveiled the production bike in vintage São Paulo yellow. The anniversary livery of the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team’s race bikes also caught the eye on Saturday: The BMW M 1000 RR Superbikes were sporting São Paulo yellow. In the race, Redding wore special leathers with a “50 years of BMW M” design – all black with the anniversary version of the BMW emblem.
Quotes after the Estoril races.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “Michael’s injury was an extremely difficult start to the weekend. We hope to have some news soon about how quickly he might recover. In the meantime, we will see who could step in as a replacement if needed. As far as Scott is concerned, there were a few bright spots and highlights. Fourth place gave him a very good starting position. He was eighth in race one and then seventh in difficult conditions in the Superpole Race. We wanted to take another step forward for the last race on Sunday afternoon, in order to improve in our weakest sector, the final sector. Unfortunately, this was the wrong move and had a negative effect in other sections of the track. We have learned from this situation. On the whole, I am satisfied with how the weekend played out for Scott, as we had a stable bike based on the tests beforehand in Portimão, and that is a good basis for future work. The Bonovo action BMW Racing Team was unlucky on Sunday morning, with Loris and Eugene both crashing out in quick succession. That was a great shame, as both could have improved their starting positions for the second race. As such, their grid positions were not the best for race two. We must now analyse the data and improve the basis for Misano step by step. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our partner BMW M on its 50th birthday. The anniversary celebration on Friday evening was great and the special livery on the M 1000 RR on Saturday was a real eye-catcher.”
#45 Scott Redding
“We had a bit of a better weekend here in Estoril. Qualifying was good after I had a better feeling with the bike in FP1. And this always helps for the rest of the weekend. In race one, we struggled with the front tyre a little bit which was difficult for us. Then in the Superpole race, we probably made the wrong tyre choice. In race two I just struggled to stop the bike so was unable to make good lap times. We had made some changes to the bike from race one to race two and it was not really the correct way to go. But in the end it was a better weekend for me so I hope to continue the form that we had in general over the weekend and seek to continue the momentum in Misano.”
#76 Loris Baz
“I didn’t put myself in the easiest position by crashing in Superpole and finishing this qualifying in 12th place. But I had a strong pace in race one and brought the bike back into the top 10. This morning in warm-up I was third, it was a nice session, I really enjoyed riding the bike in the wet for the first time. The Superpole race was really tricky. I usually like those conditions but unfortunately I hit a wet patch and had a big highsider. The guys did a fantastic job not only fixing one but two bikes to bring them back on the grid for race two. So hats off to them and big thanks, we’ll buy the guys a couple of beers tonight. Then race two I still had some brake problems as on Saturday and was not feeling too comfortable at the corner entry. It was really humid, raining in some corners and we just lost too much rear grip and I had no feeling to go any faster. At the moment, we are not fighting for the win or the podium but we have to accept that and work as hard as we can. This is what all BMW riders and the entire team do and I hope we will have a good step forwards in Misano.”
#50 Eugene Laverty
“My biggest disappointment was my crash in the Superpole race. I had eighth position secured and touched the wet part of the track, had a huge crash, destroyed the bike and gave the mechanics some extra work. In race two I struggled with the brakes. It was a weekend to forget, but let’s move on. In general, the bike feels like its working well on one lap here, that’s good. But we are having problems this year with the rear tyre after a few laps and this is what we need to work on. It’s clear that I need something different as I am a smaller rider compared to the other three BMW guys so I need to work on something to push better on the rear tyre for me.”