Magny-Cours. The ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team had a difficult weekend as WorldSBK returned from its summer break at Magny-Cours in France, with a best race result for riders Scott Redding (GBR) and Michael van der Mark (NED) seventh on Saturday and 13th in the Superpole race respectively.
Redding was on track for a top result in Superpole qualifying on his BMW M 1000 RR in Race 1, only to slide and fall. He finished 10th, moving up to ninth on the grid due to a penalty for another rider. Van der Mark finished Superpole to take 13th on the grid. Redding finished Race 1 in seventh place, while van der Mark crossed the finish line 16th.
The first lap of the Superpole race on Sunday morning featured an unfortunate racing incident as the bikes of Redding and Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo action BMW Racing Team) collided. Both riders went down. Gerloff then had to head for the pits and retire, while Redding was able to rejoin the race. He eventually crossed the line in 20th place. Van der Mark finished the Superpole race in 13th position.
In race two on Sunday afternoon, the race was interrupted on lap five after an accident involving Redding and Dominique Aegerter (SUI / Yamaha), before restarting for 17 further laps. Redding was able to participate in the restart but then retired due to a technical problem. Van der Mark was also unable to reach the finish after taking a tumble.
The tenth round of the 2023 WorldSBK season will take place in two weeks (22nd to 24th September) at MotorLand Aragón, Spain. BMW Motorrad Motorsport, the four riders and both teams completed two successful days of testing there at the end of August.
Reactions to the Magny-Cours round.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “In the Superpole race, there was an unfortunate racing accident involving Scott and Garrett. This had a negative impact on our start position for the second main race. Unfortunately, the accident involving Scott and Dominique – we send our very best wishes to him – prompted a red flag. Of course, that throws everything out of kilter. I am very pleased that we were able to show here what potential the bike has. Unfortunately, Mickey was unable to develop a real feel for the bike over the weekend as a whole. He is still working on his comeback after suffering that serious injury. Scott had good pace and was able to show that by finishing seventh in the first race. However, he had a Sunday to forget, with a lot of bad luck. He has to collect himself and go back on the attack at Aragón.”
Scott Redding, #45 ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 10 / R01: 7 / SP Race: 20 / R02: DNF): “Not my best weekend of luck. I felt good with the bike this weekend but I was just a little bit unlucky with a couple of crashes. I don’t ever remember crashing three times in a weekend, so it was quite strange. It think because it was so close with the laps times and to get the results there is really small room for error. Obviously we had a crash in race two before the re-start. The guys did a great job to get the bike ready to start the final race – it was quite damaged. I felt good at the re-start and then I had two long lap penalties to do. For me it was important to do them, but I made a good start and made up positions. Then I started to have some small engine troubles. I think that was from the crashes this weekend, maybe I damaged the engine. It was not a good weekend for us regarding results, but we had the pace and we felt good. So we need to see if we can come back a little bit at Aragón.”
Michael van der Mark, #60 BMW M 1000 RR, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 13 / R01: 16 / SP Race: 13 / R02: DNF): “I was really looking forward to the weekend and to being back racing but unfortunately it turned out to be tough days and we never really managed to give me the right feeling for the bike. We worked very hard and tried several set-up options but did not find the right direction to go. We have seen the potential of the BMW M 1000 RR here at Magny-Cours. That makes me confident and the full focus is now on the next round at Aragón. We’ve tested there and we will give everything to have a stronger weekend there.”