For riders and teams on the World Superbike grid, Jerez will play a crucial role in the 2019 championship, as it begins a run of four rounds in the space of six weeks. Track time for the riders is imperative and could be the difference between building a championship challenge or sustaining your current advantage.
The Misano test provided the opportunity for teams to test out their new upgrades and improve different areas on the bikes, and a team that hugely benefited from this was the BMW Motorrad Motorsport pair of Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger.
Sykes has been the top BMW for the majority of the year, and has been extremely close to the podium places on numerous occasions.
Speaking after the test he had this to say: “Certainly, the entire BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team has done a good job. We had quite a lot of fundamental items to get through. The weather gave us some limitations in track time but I feel we had a very structured plan considering. We’ve worked through various things and gained a lot of valuable information that we can use to move forward.”
“I was ultimately happy with the information and what it gives us in terms of feeling with the BMW S 1000 RR on this track. Certainly, the mixed conditions and the kind of lack of surface grip gave us the chance to test different parameters of the bike. So overall I think it has been a successful test and an important one at this point of the season considering it’s a new project so we will see now how we will line-up going into the next race.”
It was a tricky test for everyone as the weather played a huge part and halted proceedings throughout both days. With limited track time it was important to gain as much information as possible. The team made big strides forward in the software and chassis area, along with a new triple clamp suspension fitted to the bike.
With the 2019 bike being completely new in every area, having the opportunity to test the BMW S 1000 for the first time in wet conditions will be invaluable for the team going forward. With race three at Imola ultimately being rained off, this was the perfect opportunity to gain important data in all conditions.
Reiterberger was very keen to find out how the bike handled and performed in the wet conditions and spoke about the good feeling he had from the bike: “Wednesday was a very interesting day for us as it was our first day with the new BMW S 1000 RR in fully wet conditions. I actually enjoyed that a lot. I had a lot of fun racing the bike in the rain. We made a big step forward in the electronics area that enabled me to do really fast lap times in the wet.
“It was very important for us to get an understanding for how to set up the bike for these conditions. In dry conditions, we still have some work to do but we’ve made another step in the right direction. We tested some different settings and some new parts. Overall, I’m happy with the test, we will now continue to work hard and give our best.”
For Sykes and Reiterberger, they will now hope to use the information gained and upgrades to their advantage next time out in Jerez and produce a more consistent run of results for the second part of the season.