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Misano. After victories in the FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC) and at the Isle of Man TT, BMW Motorrad Motorsport had a weekend with positive aspects but also difficulties in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). Round four of the 2022 WorldSBK season took place at Misano, Italy. The hard work put in by the two teams, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team, was not reflected in the results at the Italian circuit, which has proved to be a tough place to visit already in the past. However, BMW Motorrad Motorsport did gather valuable information for the coming races which will now be analysed.
In the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, Scott Redding (GBR) was very happy with his race pace. He had issues at the start of the races, however, which resulted in him falling back through the field before having to fight his way back again. The Brit finished ninth in Superpole, then tenth, eleventh and ninth in the races. Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR), who was standing in for the injured Michael van der Mark (NED) at Misano, had difficulties at the start of the weekend but made consistent progress. He ended the weekend with an 18th and two 15th places to his name.
The Bonovo action BMW Racing Team struggled with technical issues at times at Misano. Loris Baz (FRA) and Eugene Laverty (IRL) did score points in both main races, but the team was denied the desired constant top-ten results – except for Baz’s tenth place in race two. A problem with his clutch had previously resulted in Baz dropping back to 15th in the opening race, and he crashed out of the Superpole race. Laverty came home 13th, 12th and 14th.
WorldSBK now takes a break for a few weeks. Round five of the season will take place from 15th to 17th July at Donington Park (GBR). BMW Motorrad Motorsport will go testing at Donington at the end of June.
Quotes after the Misano races.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “The weekend was not as satisfactory for us as we had hoped – neither with regard to the results nor the distance from the leaders. The top three or four positions are not achievable at the moment, that much is clear, but our goal is definitely to challenge for fifth place. In Sunday’s race, we showed that, as far as the lap times are concerned, we have the pace to compete in the group from fifth to eighth place. However, we had very bad starts – with Scott in particular – and consequently lost too much time in the opening laps. We could not recover from that. We must now find out what the cause was. It goes without saying that we must find even more pace from the bike. That goes for all four riders. We will now test at Donington on 28th June where we will try a few things out and focus more strongly on the start. Ilya had a tough weekend. After about 1,000 laps on Dunlop tyres and an endurance bike, it took him a while to adapt. What he then produced in the second main race was very pleasing. Loris was on a very similar level to Scott in race two, but had unfortunately had a little mishap in the morning’s Superpole race. He also struggled at the start, and with the clutch in general. Eugene also really struggled. The feedback from the riders is all very similar, and we must now deal with these points. All in all, we are not where we need to be. We must stick with it to make steady progress.”
Scott Redding, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 9 / R01: 10 / SP Race: 11 / R02: 9): “BMW experienced a difficult weekend here last year so we came in and used it a bit as testing. Actually I was able to carry on the pace from Estoril; that’s not too bad. To be honest, in the races, we had quite a good race pace to be in sixth or seventh position but I struggled all weekend getting off the start line – I did not get one good start, and it’s very important to get away on the first laps but I was going back to 16th, 17th or maybe 18th and then you are battling with the guys and lose five seconds on the first two laps. What was positive from the weekend was we had consistent race pace; that was quite good for us and I am feeling again a step better on the bike but we really need to bring some things that allow me to get off the start to be there. I think I deserve it. We have been working well, we have the pace but we give it away at the start so simple things that need to be fixed. We have a bit of a break now and I hope for Donington we will have a solution and keep going from there.”
Eugene Laverty, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 17 / R01: 13 / SP Race: 12 / R02: 14): “It has been a really tough weekend. We have tried many things with the bike to try and improve our pace but it did not seem to have much impact so it was tough to make some progress but we did our best and this is the maximum we leave with this weekend. I can’t be happy with that, nor the team nor BMW. We all want to improve, we’ll keep working hard and try to return stronger in the next one because this is not satisfactory. For the next races at Donington, we need to be back in the top ten like at the first round at Aragón where we were strong but since then I have had difficulties so I need to get the good feeling back again.”
Loris Baz, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 12 / R01: 15 / SP Race: DNF / R02: 10): “It has been a difficult weekend. It started with bad luck and it seemed like this bad luck was just following all weekend. I am sad also for the guys in the team, because all the mechanics, everybody works so hard. In the Superpole race I did not have a great feeling after technical issues in the warm-up, and in this race, the top nine is the only thing we are looking for to have points. I was tenth or 11th and I tried it, pushed too hard and crashed. Then I tried again in race two, like I never really gave up this weekend, but the maximum we could do was P10. I had some issue again with the clutch and the brakes but I managed to bring some points for the guys. Until the clutch issue came up on the final laps, it was not too bad, I was not too far away from Scott. Now we try again at Donington; we never give up.”
Ilya Mikhalchik, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 23 / R01: 18 / SP Race: 15 / R02: 15): “It was a quite difficult weekend for me. We were trying to analyse what we need to do to improve the bike and worked on it. For sure, I am maybe not satisfied with my positions because if we compare it with Aragón I am now something like seven bikes behind, but if we take the steps we made from the first practice to race two, every exit, every lap was a big improvement with the bike and with myself. I also got used more to the Superbike after racing on the endurance and the Superstock bike, and especially on Sunday I was really enjoying the bike. It was really nice to ride, even in hot conditions and we did not have any big problems with the bike. I was just trying to catch the front group and I finished race two only a few seconds from the top ten positions. This makes me quite happy and the most important is that we made a big job during the weekend with the team. So thanks to everyone in the team.”