Ukrainian racer Ilya Mikhalchik is on standby to get a debut with the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team for the opening round of the 2022 WorldSBK Championship season in place of the injured Michael van der Mark.
The Dutchman is currently recuperating after breaking his leg in an accident during training, ruling him out of BMW’s two remaining pre-season tests and possibly also for the opening round of the season at Motorland Aragon on 9-10 April.
In his place comes Mikhalchik, a former WorldSSP racer and three-time IDM Superbike Champion for BMW in Germany, who will take over from van der Mark at the upcoming tests alongside Scott Redding in Barcelona and Aragon.
The Kyiv man – who also competes in BMW’s factory Endurance World Championship team – will then make his WorldSBK debut at Aragon if van der Mark hasn’t made a full recovery, as BMW is anticipating.
“We would like to wish Michael a speedy recovery,” BMW Motorsport Director Marc Bongers says. “His injury shortly before the start of the season is of course very unfortunate. Due to his absence, we were partly missing a reference to the topics from the past year, which made the test work a little more difficult.
“In Ilya Mikhalchik we have found a good replacement who will stand in for him in the next two tests. With him we can work through test points, work on the 2022 package, and Michael’s crew can get used to each other.
Ilya knows the BMW M1000RR very well and can therefore provide important input. He is a strong BMW works driver who will also have the opportunity to test the World Championship package.
Overall, our two days of testing at Misano were very constructive. Our new drivers were able to gain experience with the M1000RR and familiarise themselves with the new developments.”