Estoril Finale: BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team fighting with blunt weapons on Saturday.

BMW:Estoril Finale: BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team fighting with blunt weapons on Saturday.

Estoril. The 2020 season in the FIM Superbike World
Championship (WorldSBK) is approaching its conclusion and the first
race of the final weekend at Estoril (POR) is over. The two BMW
Motorrad WorldSBK Team riders, Tom Sykes (GBR) and Eugene Laverty
(IRL), finished race one on Saturday in tenth and twelfth positions.


The ‘Circuito do Estoril’ is hosting WorldSBK for the first time
since 1993. Friday was all about getting to know the idiosyncrasies of
the circuit, while Saturday featured another practice session,
Superpole qualification and race one.

In Superpole, Sykes and Laverty qualified in tenth and
14th with their BMW S 1000 RRs. Both riders lost places at
the start of the race. As the race progressed, they both defended
their positions but found it impossible to mount any attacks. Sykes
and Laverty both move up after riders ahead of them retired from the
race and after 21 laps, Sykes took the chequered flag line in tenth,
with Laverty in twelfth.

Quotes after race one at Estoril.

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director:
“Firstly, congratulations to Johnny Rea. He has seemed untouchable on
the way to his sixth consecutive world championship title – very well
done! Up to now, our performance has not been satisfactory. Since the
first practice session, we have been struggling to adjust to the new
circuit. We seem to be unable to leverage our experience from the
current season, with most of the familiar circuits providing little
grip. We are simply not adjusting to new conditions and new circuits
quickly enough at the moment. We will have to work on that for the
future, but we have already developed the necessary methodology ahead
of this finale. A positive aspect for us is that our lap times were
stable throughout the race, however they were too slow to allow us to
get involved in the battle for the top places. Not least because of
that, we are looking forward to seeing what we can learn from testing
on Monday. As part of the preparations for 2021, we will already be
using some components for the BMW M 1000 RR to get an idea of the
potential. But now we are focusing on Sunday: we are analysing the
data from today to put on a better performance in the Superpole race
and in race two.”

Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK
“Today’s Superpole was a bit disappointing. Tom was a
few tenths away from a second row start but he could not get the full
use out of the qualifying tyre. Eugene struggled getting grip from the
rear tyre and ultimately could not post a strong lap time. The race
was quite exciting at one point; we got into a good rhythm with Tom
and he was bunched up in a group from 5th to around
12th, which was covered by a few seconds, which we felt we
could have bagged a top six from that. Generally, we are not happy
with a tenth position, but I felt his overall pace was promising and
we took some good information away from that. Eugene continued his
free practice and qualifying pace and circulated the race relative to
those times, which was P12.”

Tom Sykes: “We got a good start to today’s race one
but I just got caught on the outside at T1. We then settled into a
good rhythm and it was a shame as P5 was only a few seconds away, but
I was at the wrong end of a big group. It’s clear to see that our bike
is working really well in some areas, but I was just lacking a little
bit today with mechanical grip and engine performance. But it is what
is, the game is over for this year and now for me the aim is to get
the best results possible and gather the information, blend that
together going into the winter test and get to where we need to be
next year.”

Eugene Laverty: “This track is tough for us in
general. These slow first gear corners are just not suited to our
bike, but I did what I could today. We were slow but at least we were
consistent and kept within three tenths of my lap time from the start.
Regardless of that we gained some good information, I played around
with my body position to try give the guys some direction to work in
so again we will try something else for tomorrow’s final two races.
Our problem is that we are struggling to get the bike stopped and have
that punch out of the corners. But we have some ideas, it’s not going
to be a miracle overnight but we must make progress.”

Original Press Release