Donington Park (GBR) is the next stop for BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team in the FIM Superbike World Championship. The fourth round of the 2021 WorldSBK season will take place this coming weekend (2nd to 4th July) at the historic circuit in the heart of England.
After the third round at Misano (ITA), WorldSBK took a short break with no races taking place over two weekends. BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team used that time for two days of testing at Navarra (ESP). The Spanish circuit has been added to the calendar this year and will host the seventh race event of the season from 20th to 22nd August. The tests provided an opportunity to continue development of the new BMW M 1000 RR, while simultaneously becoming familiar with the characteristics of the circuit.
The focus now switches to the upcoming weekend at Donington Park. The very first WorldSBK race took place on this track in April 1988. Donington has been a fixture on the calendar since then, even though the event had to be cancelled last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Shaun Muir (Team Principal): “We’re looking forward to coming to the UK round of the World Superbike Championship. The Navarra test was quite conclusive for us. We have a better direction with the chassis after the chassis work both Tom and Michael have done. Hopefully we can transfer some of that into the Donington event. The forecast for the Donington event is quite changeable. Friday is fair weather but Saturday and Sunday it looks like we have some wet weather appearing just right during the mid-days. So we could be racing in changeable conditions with potential pit stops so we need to be ready for that eventuality. Overall as a team, we are in a good position, disappointed from Misano for sure, but we need to put things right for Donington and hopefully we can do just this.”
Marc Bongers (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director): “The first three events of the season showed us what areas we need to work on with our new BMW M 1000 RR, and we did that during testing at Navarra, among other things. We tried out and evaluated a few new parts in the chassis area, for example. Now we are looking forward to the race weekend at Donington Park. That is a traditional, old-school circuit and the layout has a really challenging mix of everything. There are fast, fluid sections as well as hairpin bends, climbs and slopes. We will see how well our M RR copes with this track. We are excited to see what the weather will be like at the weekend, as that can always be an unpredictable factor at Donington.”
Tom Sykes (No. 66): “For me, the Navarra test was good for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it was to continue the development of the new BMW M 1000 RR. We had some items that we needed to confirm there and we were able to do that. Then it was great to learn the circuit and get some data there for when we go back in August for the races. Now I am obviously looking forward to my home race at Donington. I’ve had a lot of success there in the past and I really hope that we can find the set-up to enable me to be more consistent and stronger over the race weekend. We need to work on finding those last little items now to put us in that position. The new M RR has had a big step in terms of engine and braking performance and quite a number of other things so we just need to find the last part of the jigsaw so we can use all of this. I am looking forward to going there and fingers crossed we can have some good British weather. But we take what we get and try to get a strong result.”
Michale Van Der Mark (No. 60): “It was good to have a test at Navarra, not only as we race there later this year, but also as we had faced some problems at Misano and BMW responded very quick so we had some new parts to Navarra test. I was happy with the test; it was a step in the right direction but of course you have to see if it also works on a different track but luckily we have Donington this weekend. Donington is fantastic; I really love these old-school circuits. I had some good results there in the past and I love the circuit and the history and after missing it last year, it is good to go back there now. Regarding the characteristics, for me the first part is the best; it is fast and flowing and a really exciting section of the track. The last part does not really fit to that but there you have some really good overtaking opportunities so the circuit is exciting in two very different ways.”