WorldSBK testing continued at Barcelona.
Barcelona. BMW Motorrad Motorsport continued is preparations for the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship with two days of testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team again had a comprehensive test schedule and evaluated numerous new components and set-up solutions for the BMW M 1000 RR. The weather was mainly dry with some rain only on the afternoon of the second day.
At Scott Redding’s side, BMW Motorrad factory rider Ilya Mikhalchik stood in for injured Michael van der Mark in the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team.
Together with the two Bonovo action BMW Racing Team riders, Eugene Laverty and Loris Baz, they worked, among other things, on rims, wiring loom and electronics and tested several chassis components. The next test is scheduled for 4th and 5th April at MotorLand Aragón. The same venue will host the 2022 WorldSBK season opener from 8th to 10th April.
Quotes after the Barcelona test.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “Ilya did a solid job. He worked through several test items for us and got used to the Superbike. He completed many kilometres and we made good progress with him. In the end, he was the second-fastest BMW rider in the dry. Michael’s surgery was successful but we don’t know yet when he can ride again. In case he can’t, Ilya would be a potential substitute for the season opener. On Scott’s side, the test went partly positively, partly we have still some work to do. We confirmed the engine with all riders as a positive step. We also were strong in regards to top speed but we clearly lose in sectors two and four, especially when accelerating out of the fast corners. Here we definitely still have to work on our package, in combination with set-up and traction control. We were able to go through a lot of test items also with the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team. Loris unfortunately had a crash that cost him a lot of time. In addition, we had some minor technical issues here and there, but that’s the purpose of the tests, to identify them at an early stage. Those were topics we can well react on. In general, we are happy but we still have to work on the pace to close up to the top.”
#45 Scott Redding
“It was good to have two days of testing here in Barcelona. We have made some improvements with the bike and the electronics which is important for me and the team. Then we had to try a few test items, tried the different tyres to get a feeling, tried again the electronics. We worked a lot and we did make some improvements which is good. But the goal post is always moving. You close the gap to the first one and then someone goes faster again. But we have to look at our situation, what we are doing and how we are improving. That’s where we need to focus. Then we had some rain in the afternoon of the second day which was interesting. It was good for me to get on the wet track and just get the feeling. It’s not too different to how it was in the past. I felt quite good. We need to do a bit more with the set-up and stuff but the temperature dropped quite a lot so we decided to test some other parts, practice starts a bit more because I haven’t done many starts on this bike and then we improved which was good. We also tried some other things for the conditions. In general, we did quite a lot but we still have more to do. We are moving on to Aragón, and I think we have some more things that we need to confirm there.”
#37 Ilya Mikhalchik
“First of all I want to say a big thank you to BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the team for giving me this opportunity, and secondly a speedy recovery and a get well soon to Michael. I hope he can back on his bike soon. I am happy to be here and for sure, the World Superbike is completely different. You need to know how to work on this bike to go fast. We got this feeling more with every lap we did. Lap by lap I felt where we should go and this brought me more speed and more fun on the bike. Hopefully we can continue in the same way and soon I will get more confidence and will be faster on the bike. Barcelona was a new track for me and it was a kind of a new bike, but I enjoyed it and really felt like home. At the next test at Aragón, we know each other already, I am acquainted to the bike so I think this will be a small advantage for me there and our work will be even better than here.”
#50 Eugene Laverty
“Especially the first day was really good. We continued our progress from Misano day two in the same direction. We improved the braking again and in the afternoon we worked a lot on electronic strategies to help because this asphalt is usually slippery so it was a big chance to work on power reduction and traction control to improve that for the 20-lap races. We made good lap times. Still it’s too far to the top, we need to reduce this, but I am happy with the way the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team is working and it was positive.”
#76 Loris Baz
“Yesterday morning, we did a quite a good job. At the beginning, I did not have the feeling I wanted with the bike. We improved this, I was pretty fast, but then I made a small mistake and crashed in an in-lap. That was basically the end of our test because we were not able to re-start after the crash yesterday. This morning we had some issues due to the crash I guess. We did in and out-laps trying to find the problem today. It is frustrating but for sure it is better to happen here than at Aragón. Before the crash we were pretty fast, not as fast as we want for sure, but on a track where the grip is so low, I think that’s our weakest point at the moment and we need to improve in these kinds of conditions. It has not been a productive test like Jerez or Misano but sometimes this happens. I am looking forward to Aragón now.”