Eazi Grip

Eazi-Grip supported BMW WorldSBK team have great weekend at Assen with Redding in P5 and Van Der Mark in top 10 despite injury recovery

Scott Redding improving this weekend with a fifth place finish

The British rider claimed his best result with BMW since making the switch to the German manufacturer in Race 2 at Assen.

After a disappointing Aragon Round where he made his BMW debut, Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) responded in style at the Motul Dutch Round as he claimed a fifth-place finish at the TT Circuit Assen in Race 2, comfortably his best BMW result to date. Redding had shown strong pace throughout the weekend and it culminated in a top-five finish and finishing as the top BMW rider in the final race of the weekend on the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s visit to the Netherlands.

Redding took 13th place in Saturday’s Tissot Superpole session but was unable to set a lap in the latter part of the session after running wide at Turn 8. Although he was able to re-join the action, his best time, a 1’35.047s, came on his second lap in the 15-minute session. That lap was the lap he set his best times in both sector one and sector two on, but on later laps he was able to improve in sectors three and four; with, when looking at these sector times, potentially another couple of tenths for Redding to find.

In Race 1, the British rider battles his way up to ninth in the classification as he claimed his first top ten finish with the German manufacturer, finishing around six seconds down on Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) in sixth place; the Frenchman finishing as the top BMW rider in Race 1. In Sunday’s Tissot Superpole Race, Redding was once again the second BMW rider in the standings as he claimed 11th place.

In Race 2, Redding was able to make continual progress throughout the race as he battled into the top ten, before making even more progress to claim fifth place in the race. He was battling throughout with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) over fourth spot, including running there between Laps 14 and 21 before Lowes overhauled his compatriot on the final lap.

Reacting to his fifth place in Race 2, Redding said: “There was chaos in the first corner, and I got lucky to come through. I was pulling away from the guys behind, holding the gap to the guys in front and I thought maybe I could catch a bit. Then there was the crash between Jonny and Toprak. The pace in front, they just rolled the throttle. I was on the limit trying to get on the back of them. I got on the back of them and I was quite comfortable. I was able to come through on Bassani, Rinaldi, Alex and feeling quite good but literally at 110%. I was wrestling it. It feels like I’m riding a f***ing alligator or something. I feel like I put my money’s worth in it, that’s for sure. With a few laps to go, I got a small hole in the rear tyre on the right side, so I had no rear grip. I was tipping in and it was just coming around. I just wanted to finish. Alex passed me, Bassani passed me. We battled a bit, I tried to be defensive but there was no grip.”

Valiant effort from Michael Van Der Mark in top 10 comeback

One of the most determined performances of the weekend, Michael van der Mark really did give a packed Assen crowd something to cheer about on Sunday in WorldSBK.

The 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s second round at the TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands will go down in history as one of the biggest rounds of the season, regardless of what is to come. For a second consecutive year, big drama played out in front of the thousands track side, but those home fans were treated to a valiant performance further down. Making his return to action after a serious leg fracture in preseason testing, Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) wasn’t going to be halted in putting in a fine home display, and he didn’t disappoint with a staggering top ten in Race 2.

The weekend saw van der Mark get underway gingerly, with the five-time WorldSBK race winner hovering around the 20th place mark as he got himself dialled in – the first time on the 2022-spec BMW M1000RR. Having been 19th after FP3, van der Mark also made his debut with the SCQ tyre in Tissot Superpole, which placed him a respectable 15th, just two places behind his teammate Scott Redding. Half a second more would’ve put him inside the top ten. Race 1 saw him duke it out further down the field on his way to 13th place, being nabbed on the line for 12th by Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport Yamaha).

However, it would be a strong Sunday showing from the 29-year-old. Although he didn’t lose any positions in the Superpole Race, he didn’t gain any either, finishing 15th. This meant for a big Race 2 if he was to crack the top ten; after the dramatic collision between Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) left both of them out, it was a land of opportunity for those in and around the top ten to bag big points. Van der Mark had already made up positions but he was tenth after the accident had happened, before getting in a race-long battle with rookie Xavi Vierge (Team HRC), who was also injured with two broken ribs, and Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). Despite all the swapping and changing, van der Mark beat both of them to finish a highly commendable eighth place, 28.511s back of race winner (Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).

Talking about his return to action and fine Sunday performance, van der Mark was elated: “I don’t think I have ever been that happy with a 13th and an 8th position, but today we went a lot faster, and I had good pace. I had some nice battles, and it was good to have those battles in front of a lot of fans that came out today; I was enjoying them, and they were enjoying it too! I came here with no expectations but today, I started to feel like I used to feel on the bike, and I was enjoying it even more than yesterday.

“Without the fans, we wouldn’t be here, and we wouldn’t be racing. I was really happy to see them, and it was fantastic to see them back in the paddock too, because that’s WorldSBK with the open paddock. It was great to see them and especially the kids because maybe they’ll replace me one day! I think we gained a lot of fans again.”

Speaking about his injury, van der Mark was pleasantly surprised as it improved through the weekend: “To be honest, I was quite surprised because every day, it felt better. One of the best things is that I had no swelling all weekend. Yesterday, somebody helped me between FP3 and Superpole and I made such a big step, and today I could feel it. We made another step on the bike, so I was really happy. The best thing for me was to be riding my bike again.”

The next round will be at the Circuito Estoril, where van der Mark was able to finish seventh and sixth in 2021 in some of the first races for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. Having missed the opening round of the season, van der Mark lies 15th in the standings, 18 points off highest-placed BMW rider Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) and nine points off his factory BMW teammate Scott Redding.

Posted on Monday, April 25th, 2022 in News

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