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BMW Motorrad Motorsport WorldSBK riders display fighting spirit on a tough weekend in Misano.

The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK riders displayed fighting spirit at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli (ITA) as they attempted to cope with challenges during a weekend of adversity. On Sunday, Garrett Gerloff (USA) from the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team finished eighth in race two, recording his best result of the season so far in a main race.

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Misano. The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK riders displayed fighting spirit at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli (ITA) as they attempted to cope with challenges during a weekend of adversity. On Sunday, Garrett Gerloff (USA) from the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team finished eighth in race two, recording his best result of the season so far in a main race. The best results for Scott Redding (GBR) from the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team were two 11th-place finishes. In the second main race, Loris Baz (FRA / Bonovo action BMW Racing Team) moved up from the back of the field to 12th place. Tom Sykes (GBR), stepping in for the injured Michael van der Mark (NED) for the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, improved as the weekend progressed and chalked up his best result of the season by finishing 13th in race two. Misano hosted the fifth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship 2023.

 

Superpole qualification on Saturday morning did not go according to plan as the session was brought to a premature close; yellow flags initially made an appearance and were then replaced by the red flag to end the session with riders still out on their flying laps. Redding was classified in 12th place, with Gerloff 14th, Sykes 18th and Baz 19th. Baz was later demoted three places for race one due to a penalty incurred during the third practice session. The best BMW racer in the first race on Saturday afternoon was Redding in 11th place, while Gerloff finished 13th, Sykes 16th and Baz crossed the line in 17th position.

 

Gerloff was able to make up some places in the Superpole Race on Sunday morning and he was classified in ninth position when the race was ended after an accident three laps before the finish. The result saw Gerloff move up to the third row on the grid for race two. Redding was in 11th place, with Baz 13th. Sykes was able to continue racing after taking a tumble and was classified in 20th place.

 

The BMW riders once again displayed fighting spirit in the second main race. Gerloff dropped back a few places at the start but battled his way back during 21 laps of racing to take the chequered flag in eighth - his best result of the season so far in a main race. Technical problems forced his team-mate Baz to head for the pits after the sighting lap. He started from the back of the field and battled his way up to 12th place. Sykes started from 17th and crossed the finish line in 13th position, also his best result of the season. Redding made a superb start, moving up from 13th to ninth, but then struggled during the race. He fell back but gritted his teeth, battled on and finished the race in 14th position.

 

The sixth round of the season in the WorldSBK 2023 will take place from 30th June to 2nd July at Donington Park (GBR).

 

Reactions to the race in Misano.

 

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “Looking at Sunday, eighth place for Garrett in race two was a bright spot. However, the gap to the leading Ducati is incredible. Finishing 30 seconds behind the winner is not what we expected or were aiming for. Others seem to be struggling too, and we see again and again how important grid positions are for the race. The pace of some of our riders was similar to that of the guys in fourth, fifth and sixth places. However, the red flag during the Superpole hit us hard, even though others were affected just as much. That determines how the rest of the weekend will go. But in the heat and high humidity we had here in Misano, the guys certainly displayed a great fighting spirit. Hats off once again to Loris, who had to cope with the technical setback in race two and then raced from the back of the field to finish 12th. Our lads gave their all. We will continue working hard as we focus on Donington Park, a circuit where we have consistently produced good performances in recent years. We hope that we will be able to get back into the top five there at least.”

 

Garrett Gerloff, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 14 / R01: 13 / SP Race: 9 / R02: 8): “Today was a better day than yesterday, that’s a positive. I am happy with the work the team did last night. I got on the bike this morning and felt a lot better than yesterday. So, I was feeling confident going into the Superpole race and we had a little bit of good luck, but bad luck for Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecouna who crashed. But it put us into ninth place which we needed to start in that position for race two. We were having a few issues with the start; I don’t think I am doing it 100% right and there eems to be a strange feeling with the clutch. But I’m not making any excuses, I had a bad start, and I did my best to work my way back through. I am reasonably happy with the eighth place we got today but I know that we can do more. I am really motivated for the next races at Donington. It’s a couple of weeks until then, but I will be ready for sure.”

 

Scott Redding, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 12 / R01: 11 / SP Race: 11 / R02: 14): “The weekend was quite difficult in general. We didn’t have the pace again, but we tried to make the best of it. We were always two or three tenths slower than the second group in the race and just tried to get a good start and be there as long as possible, but it was difficult even in the first few laps. Then as the weekend went on, I just struggled more. Everyone went faster and I went slower. I struggled with the engine brake, we’ve checked the data, and there is some inconsistency with it, which doesn’t help me getting into the corner and prepare the exit, it is just pushing the bike all the time. So, again we have more work to do to find out how we can improve the situation. It has not been the weekend we wanted; it is quite difficult for us at the moment, but we will keep working to find a solution.”

 

Loris Baz, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 19 / R01: 17 / SP Race: 13 / R02: 12): “It was a strange day today. At the beginning, it was frustrating because during yesterday’s race, I felt that the bike was getting slower and slower, but we couldn’t find out why. It was the same in the Superpole race. I was riding fast and had a good pace and think I could have been not too far away from Garrett. But then something was wrong with the bike. It was pretty slow on the straight line, and I also had some issues with going into false neutral in a couple of places which cost me a lot of time. I was disappointed after the Superpole race as it was the first time since my injury that I felt I was having a good run. We decided to start race two with the second bike because we were not able to repair the damage until the start of the second race. Unfortunately, on the sighting lap I saw smoke coming out of the bike but didn’t feel that the engine was broken. I went back to the pits and the team did an amazing job fixing it in time for the race start. I think it was just a sensor that wasn’t in the right place. I had to start from the back of the grid which wasn’t ideal, but I had a good start and was soon where I would have been if I had started from my normal position. I was able to run a good pace so a big thank you to all the mechanics because without them I would have been out before the race started. Hopefully our bad luck is finally over.”

 

Tom Sykes, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 18 / R01: 16 / SP Race: 20 / R02: 13): “Obviously, I was disappointed with the starting position which really affected our race performance. I felt that I had a good start in the last race today but unfortunately somebody hit me again and moved the position of my brake lever, so I lost some positions and honestly couldn’t do much on the track. I really need to find a setting where I can set a better lap time. The consistency is not a problem, but we are missing pace in some areas and can’t set a good lap time for the first part of the race. It has been a very good weekend in terms of gathering information though. Of course, it is always difficult to come and try and find a base setting for myself during a race weekend, but the guys have worked hard so thanks to the whole team. Certainly now, there is a lot more information to help us move forward.”

 

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