2022 WorldSBK: Two intensive days of testing at Misano.
Misano. In preparation for the 2022 season of the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), BMW Motorrad Motorsport this week completed the first of three back-to-back pre-season tests. In Misano, the two BMW teams – the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team – both worked through an extensive test programme on Wednesday and Thursday. A further two tests will follow in Barcelona on 25th and 26th March, and at MotorLand Aragón on 4th and 5th April.
Many areas of the BMW M 1000 RR have been optimised and developed over the course of the winter break. As such, Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and the two riders from the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team, Eugene Laverty and Loris Baz, tested many new components and set-up variants. The areas that have been developed by BMW Motorrad Motorsport include the engine, brakes, riding geometry and ergonomics as seats and fuel tank shapes. In addition, individual rideability options for the riders had been generated in the electronics area.
The three factory riders provided more input, on the basis of which BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the two teams will now work closely together to prepare for the coming tests. BMW newcomers Redding and Baz also used the test to familiarise themselves further with the BMW M 1000 RR. Overall, the three riders completed over 1,700 kilometres of testing without any issues.
Michael van der Mark
Michael van der Mark from the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team was unable to attend the test in Misano, due to an injury. He fractured his leg in a crash whilst training on his mountain bike. This injury also means the Dutchman is unable to take part in the tests in Barcelona and at MotorLand Aragón. BMW factory rider Ilya Mikhalchik will replace him as the reserve rider at these tests. Three-time IDM champion Mikhalchik is part of the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team in the FIM Endurance World Championship and also lines up in the Spanish Superbike Championship this season.
Quotes after the Misano test.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “First of all, we wish Michael a good and speedy recovery, of course. His absence shortly before the start of the season is obviously very unfortunate. With him being absent we partly were missing a reference to last year’s topics which made the test work a bit more difficult. However, in Ilya we have a very good replacement, who will stand in for him at the next two tests. With him we can now work through the test list, fine-tune the 2022 package and Michael’s crew can gel. Ilya knows the BMW M 1000 RR well and is thus able to provide valuable input. He is a strong BMW factory rider, and has thus earned the opportunity to test the WorldSBK package. Nevertheless, our two days of testing have been overall very constructive. Our new riders could gather experience with the BMW M 1000 RR and get acquainted with the new developments.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “We had only one rider testing with Scott but it has been a real positive test. The feedback we got from all our test items was that we made good steps forward over the winter period. So from Jerez to where we are today has confirmed what we have been doing, mainly chassis, electronics and engine. Especially the engine development has proved to be a good steps for all the guys from BMW. The first day was a lot about evaluation and the second day was a bit more of fine-tuning the set-up and that went pretty well. I am really happy with the fact that we focused mainly on the SC0 tyre for him. He has not got that set-up yet for him where he could use the extra grip of the SCX or the SCQ. So all work was with the SC0 and it was a good, solid test with a lot of positives to take away.”
Michael Galinski, Team Manager Bonovo action BMW Racing Team: “As a team we are really satisfied with this test on both sides of the garage, as both riders made a step forward. Overall, they have been on the same level. The new parts, especially the new engines we got from BMW, are top and a significant improvement. We made some steps forward also with the other items we could test. We are still lacking nine tenths of a second to the very top but we got closer und were able to continuously improve. The team grew together very well. Both sides are on the same level now, and it was the second time for us to work in the final team constellation. Now I am already looking forward to the Barcelona test. This will be another challenge as it is known that there is a bit less grip. Nevertheless we are looking forward to it and to the next step we can make there.”
#45 Scott Redding
“So we finished the two days test here in Misano. I’m really happy with the work that we have done. We changed a lot at the bike angles. We had some new parts to test. That changed a lot on the bike. So we focused mainly on getting a feeling for me with this bike. It was very positive, and I enjoyed the two days here. We made some good steps, and we managed to close the gap to the front guys. That was important to me. I can go home from this test very happy. So we are going in the right direction, and I’m looking forward to Barcelona.”
#50 Eugene Laverty
“Today was really good. I made some progress because yesterday I still didn’t feel quite comfortable on the bike. Today especially in braking improved a lot. The bike is now transferring correctly. I’m a smaller rider than the other guys. So we needed to make some changes. Now I feel much more comfortable and make some really consistent lap time. So I’m really happy with the step.”
#76 Loris Baz
“I am really happy. I did not know what to expect. In Jerez, everything was totally new for me coming from a completely different bike. After then, we had a long break, so I was really happy to get back on the BMW M 1000 RR. This track is completely different, also the grip level is completely different but I was pretty happy straight away with the new engine spec and the electronic development that the guys have done. So, yes, I am really happy with the direction they took, I think it is the right one. I am happy with the pace and over the two days I managed to do a lot of consistent laps on the race tyre. I’m really happy with the job done, we are also close to Scott and Eugene so it’s a good direction for BMW.”