BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and the new BMW S 1000 RR secured Pole position and a podium at Donington Park
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team once again had cause to celebrate at Donington Park (GBR). In Saturday’s Superpole qualifying, Tom Sykes (GBR) secured the first pole position for the new BMW S 1000 RR in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK).
He then finished runner-up in the afternoon’s opening race, claiming the second WorldSBK podium for the new RR. Peter Hickman (GBR), who is standing in for Markus Reiterberger (GER) at Donington Park, finished fourth in Superpole qualifying and seventh in the race. Reiterberger was forced to pull out of this weekend’s event with a severe viral infection.
Donington Park is the venue for round eight of this season’s WorldSBK. Sykes already showed on Friday that he feels comfortable on the RR at his home circuit in Great Britain, setting the fastest time of the free practice sessions.
Conditions were initially damp for Saturday’s Superpole, before the track started to dry out. Sykes secured pole position with an advantage of almost a second over Jonathan Rea (GBR / Kawasaki). This was the 49th pole position for Sykes, who holds the record for the most poles in WorldSBK. Hickman, who is familiar with the BMW S 1000 RR from the British Superbike Championship (BSB) and road racing, and knows the Donington Park circuit well, qualified fourth to secure a good starting position for race one.
The Saturday race then took place in wet conditions. Sykes was passed by Rea at the start, but his second place never looked under threat throughout the entire 23-lap race. He also set the fastest lap of the race en route to the podium. Hickman lost several positions at the start, but then found a good rhythm and rode a flawless race to cross the finish line in seventh place.
After race one at Donington Park,
“I AM REALLY HAPPY. THE SPEED HAS BEEN THERE ALL WEEKEND, CERTAINLY IN DRY CONDITIONS. IT WAS JUST FANTASTIC TO CLAIM POLE POSITION THIS MORNING. IN THE RACE IN WET CONDITIONS, WE HAD SOME LIMITATIONS BUT IT’S GREAT TO BRING IT HOME IN SECOND POSITION. IT’S STILL REALLY QUITE INCREDIBLE WHERE WE ARE AS IT IS SO EARLY IN THE PROGRAMME. CREDIT TO THE ENTIRE BMW MOTORRAD WORLDSBK TEAM. WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS OUTSTANDING. I’M REALLY HAPPY TO NOW HAVE TWO PODIUMS ON TWO CONSECUTIVE WEEKENDS. IT WOULD BE NICE FOR ALL GUYS IN THE GARAGE IF WE COULD KEEP THIS MOMENTUM. AS I SAID, WE HAD SOME LIMITATIONS TODAY IN THE WET AND WE WILL TRY TO IMPROVE THAT. IN DRY CONDITIONS, I FEEL READY TO RACE ANYWAY, SO I AM REALLY QUITE RELAXED AT THE MOMENT AND ENJOY MY RACING.”TOM SYKES