Productive WorldSBK test at Misano.
Misano. Following the fourth race weekend of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship in Barcelona, BMW Motorrad Motorsport, the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team headed straight to Misano in Italy for two days of testing on Thursday and Friday. In the saddle were BMW Motorrad WorldSBK works riders Scott Redding, Loris Baz and Garrett Gerloff, as well as Tom Sykes, who has returned to the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK family as a temporary replacement for the injured Michael van der Mark.
BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the two teams used the test to improve the handling and overall performance of the new BMW M 1000 RR, evaluating various solutions, including in the areas of geometry and set-up. For Sykes, the priority at Misano was to familiarise himself with the latest version of the bike.
On the first day of testing, weather conditions have been mainly dry, sunny and stable until a thunderstorm caused a red flag in the late afternoon. The second day of testing saw rain in the morning, followed by another thunderstorm in the later afternoon. The test served as preparation for the next races. The season continues with round five at Misano from 2nd to 4th June.
#31 Garrett Gerloff
“I wasn’t really expecting to have so many dry laps, so that’s positive, for sure. Yesterday was really good, we made a lot of progress. We tried just small things but all the small things add up. We ended the day in a good position and I was happy with that. Today, we did not go out before the rain so we did not have any dry laps in the morning. In the afternoon just the grip did not feel so great but anyway, we were happy with how the test went, especially yesterday. We have a lot of information for the race coming up soon, so I am looking forward to that.”
#45 Scott Redding
“In the dry, track conditions were really good. We tested some parts which gave me a better feeling on the bike which I am quite happy with. I feel I can push the bike a little bit more which is what I am looking for. But still I struggle to achieve a better lap time when I push for it. But here in those track conditions, the consistency was really good and I was fast with many laps on the tyre, but I could not make a step with a new tyre. That is something that we need to work on. Even if rain interrupted things a bit, it was good to have two days of testing here and try to improve.”
#66 Tom Sykes
“I’m very grateful for getting this opportunity and to be here. I know the team very well from the past, but obviously I am on the other side of the garage now, so the first thing we did was setting up a plan for our work. I was very happy with the way things went. Run by run, we tried more to understand the package and to get myself comfortable again with the BMW. Honestly, I was very happy with the progress we kept making. Day two was interrupted with rain so we did some wet and function testing to get forward. Credit to BMW and the entire team; since I was last riding the bike, they have continued to move forward and made big steps with the bike, for example regarding the engine and electronics. Overall it has been a very productive test and I am looking forward to the upcoming event at Misano.”
#76 Loris Baz
“The focus at this test was to be back a bit more natural on the bike, especially with my leg. The couple of races that I have contested since I came back, I was of course not riding naturally. It is still not perfect, and the foot was more painful at Misano than it was at Barcelona due to all the changes of direction so we have not done too many laps but focused on trying to get back a feeling with the front and a better turning of the bike again. There we were struggling more this season compared to last year. I think that we made a good step in that direction. We have also been a bit lucky with the weather as two days of rain had been predicted and we still had good laps on the dry. I did most of the test with the SC0, my best lap time was with really old tyres. So the test was pretty okay. Now I am looking forward to three more weeks of recovery for my leg because it is still locking me in the right–hand corners and changes of direction.”