BMW Motorrad Motorsport attends first winter test in southern Spain in preparation for the 2022 WorldSBK season.
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and Bonovo action BMW Racing Team test in Jerez de la Frontera.
Michael van der Mark, Scott Redding, Eugene Laverty and Loris Baz in action.
Marc Bongers: “We take a lot of positives back home”.
Jerez de la Frontera. In preparation for the 2022 season of the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), BMW Motorrad Motorsport carried out its first winter test. The two BMW teams – BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and Bonovo action BMW Racing Team – took to the track in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, this week.
In the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, Michael van der Mark (NED) continued his work on the BMW M 1000 RR as he looks to take another step forward next season after one win and a further two podiums in 2021. Scott Redding (GBR) used the test days to familiarise himself with his future bike and team. The Brit had gained his first experience on his new bike during a private test in Estoril (POR) last week. The focus there was on getting to know the bike and recording the ergometry. The findings from the test were implemented quickly and the modified parts and new components were already available by the time he arrived at the Jerez de la Frontera test.
With the two riders, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team tested engine specifications for 2022, as well as chassis modifications. The direct competitive comparison allows the team to determine the work direction in preparation for the next test in the new year.
The Bonovo action BMW Racing Team is also at Jerez de la Frontera with its two new riders. After Eugene Laverty (IRL) and Loris Baz (FRA) visited the team headquarters in Germany in November, they began the test work together at the racetrack. Laverty, who was heavily involved in the development of the BMW M 1000 RR, will be racing with the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team in his third season as a BMW works driver. Baz is already familiar with the BMW S 1000 RR, on which he rode in the WorldSBK in 2018, and uses the test to learn more about the M RR.
Quotes after the Jerez de la Frontera test.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “There have been a lot of new things at this test. In general, it has been important to test with all four riders, including the two new additions Baz and Redding, before Christmas. It was good to have all four riders on the same bike on the same race track. We brought a lot of new test items that we either confirmed or evaluated with all four of the in order to get the right direction. With two new riders you of course first to get used to the way they give their feedback and how to transfer their comments but we managed that very well. We then also compared this feedback with that given by van der Mark and Laverty who already knew the bike very well. We have ticked all boxes in our test programme but maybe might do some further laps tomorrow. We gathered a huge amount of information and this is now to be analysed. Overall, we found very good directions and in general, I am very satisfied. We take a lot of positives back home. Now we will have a well-deserved Christmas break but then we will continue to intensively prepare for the season. We are very optimistic looking forward.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “It has been a successful test for both sides of the pit box. We have a new rider with Scott. He had a lot of things to work through but most importantly for him was to find that comfortable setting feeling with the bike. I am really pleased about his work ethic in the pit box. He has put a lot of laps in and he acclimatised very well. On Michael’s side, we worked on similar development parts to what Scott has and he has been working through that very well as well. Comparing both riders’ feedback it is very similar and I am very pleased about that. I think it is proving that the set-up direction we are going with the BMW M 1000 RR is aligned between both riders which is very important. Equally important is that we got new team-members within the group and I am really pleased to see how all these guys are working together. There has been a lot of overlapping, a lot of chassis changes, a lot of engine changes and everybody has been working as a group, so I applaud all the team and all the guys working very closely together. Overall I think we can leave the test here at Jerez with our heads held up high, we have done a good job and we can go into the Christmas break with a lot of confidence and get ready for our next test in the new year.”
Michael van der Mark, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “It was good to have a test even if it was so late in the year. We had a lot of new components and items to try on the bike. At this test we barely played around with the set-up of the bike, we mainly tried new parts to figure out what brings improvement and what does not. We need to get some ideas and start producing the new things. It has been a really good test and I am really happy with a lot of new things. It was great to gather good information and now I am looking forward to a short Christmas break.”
Michael Galinski, Team Manager Bonovo action BMW Racing Team: “It has been the first test for the new season and the first time for us to be at the race track with the big team. I want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Jürgen Röder, who made it possible for us to now compete as a two-rider team. He will attend many races next year and we are looking forward to that. We have a lot of new people with us, also the riders are partly new for us. Of course we have known both for many years. Loris has already raced for our team and I have also known Eugene for quite some time. Both did a great job at the test. But not only that, it was also important for me to gel with the new members as a team and to get used to each other. That worked very well. With new people, for example from England and France, our team has become more international after being a more or less German squad in the past. Like at every other team, English is now our team language. The collaboration in the combination with SMR and Bonovo action also works very well. There are always a lot of things to try and when time allows we share this between us. The test has been very positive in all aspects, we are also happy with the lap times. But we still have some things to find and work to do.”
Eugene Laverty, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team: “I already met the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team in November when we went to Germany and spent a weekend together with the guys. They invited us all there and it was so nice to meet each other away from the track because sometimes you only meet the guys in a work environment. So to go there, have some beers and relax away from the track and made me feel at home straight away. The first test days with the team have been very positive. I felt comfortable on the bike immediately after the first couple of exits on day one. I feel good in braking which is an area I am always working on. I am happy with the progress we are making. There is still work to do to improve our turning in the long corners compared to the other BMW riders but I am happy that we are right there in the mix. There is a really good atmosphere in the box, I get on very well with Loris. He is a fast guy and that’s important, to have a fast team-mate to push you. We work together well and all the guys are experienced as well. It’s great crew and I think we have a good year ahead of us.”
Loris Baz, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team: “I am happy to be back with BMW and about the opportunity to be back in WorldSBK. I was really looking forward to that test to have a first impression. A December test is never the most crucial one of the season but it’s really important for getting to know the team, to meet the people and for the feeling you are going into the winter with. The test was a lot of work, we did a lot of laps. Also, I was back on the bike after nearly three months and it is never easy when you jump on a bike that is completely different. The test was about understanding how the bike works and also to try to give the best input based on the differences of all the bikes I know. I have riden a lot of bikes in WorldSBK so I was trying to adapt to the bike and at the same time give the right input on what we can improve on that bike. The M RR has a lot of strong points, we just need to put them together to get a bike that works well from a riding side. When you start working with a new bike, you have to switch from one riding style to another but we did a good job, completing over 150 laps. Yes, I am happy. We tried some new parts for next year and mainly a lot of things on the electronics, and with every run we went faster and I felt a bit more confident on the bike. I am satisfied with the job so far.”
More, from a press release issued by Team HRC:
A new season has begun for Team HRC in sunny Jerez de la Frontera
A new WorldSBK season has begun for Team HRC in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, where the team’s new riders have completed an initial test (December 15-17) aboard the CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE.
Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge benefitted from excellent weather conditions during this first outing with their new bike and team, an experience that proved positive. The pair were able to make the most of the track time available to them and, despite the sessions coming to a premature end for Iker after he suffered a fall with minor consequences, this doesn’t alter the fact that both he and his team-mate were able to complete some solid work with their new squad.
Team HRC will now take a short break over the holiday season before returning to the track in January with renewed energy and confidence.
Team Manager, Team HRC
“We’ve essentially made a very good start and both Iker and Xavi have adapted very quickly to the bike and to the team – you could sense that they’re highly motivated. The lap times were good right away, but this was not our goal and so we were not pushing for those. It was all about trying to understand the bike, the tyres and the changes we made, which have most related to electronics at this initial stage. Their comments were in line with what we already knew about the bike, and that’s impressive at what is their first test. We used our current bike so that they could understand the base set-up and what we have now, and then they’ll be able to evaluate the updates we’ll introduce next year. Conditions have been very good throughout the whole test, so even though Iker missed the final day, he was able to take advantage of a lot of useful track time and has already completed a lot of work. Of course, we need more time on track with both riders, so that they gradually gain experience. It’s an all-round learning process, but so far everything has been going very well”.
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Successful Jerez Test For KRT
Kawasaki Racing Team riders Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes completed a positive test at Jerez in Spain on Friday 17 December, marking KRT’s first major step into the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship season.
Both riders carried out evaluations of new components and settings on the official Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR to allow the KMC and KRT technical staff to work over the winter break on improving real race performance for the new season which starts in early April 2022.
Weather conditions were very kind at the popular 4.423km long Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto, allowing a clear run through the test programme and a positive overall conclusion to what was finally a two-day test.
On-track action was only conducted by the KRT riders on the first and last available days, Wednesday 15 December and Friday 17, with a rider rest and technical evaluation day on Thursday.
The target of the test was to find overall improvements in the performance of the Ninja ZX-10RR on race tyres and despite focusing on this Rea was able to set impressive times on Friday after the team had made changes to the machine’s overall spec and set-up.
For Alex Lowes, still recovering from an injury-affected 2021 season, his lap times also proved strong even though this was not his main target at this test. Lowes was also pleasantly surprised by how well his body withstood the rigours of testing and he will now aim to be back at full fitness before the new season gets underway.
There will now be a short winter break from track action for the team, with the next scheduled test taking place at Jerez once more, in late January.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It has been a really fun two days riding. We structured the test to ride on day one, then have a day off to let the mechanics work on the bike. We got going again on day three. We found out a lot of good information and I am really happy with the team, Showa and KMC for their continued hard work in bringing new parts to test. I had a lot of fun on the bike and we managed to get through everything we had on the list at this test. Now is the important time because we will act on our findings and try to improve and re-evaluate some items again in January. The weather was great at Jerez, quite consistent, and we got a lot of valuable track time in. To be honest, this test was quite challenging mentally because I did a lot of work and I had been off the bike for quite some time. I’m really looking forward to going home now and spending Christmas with my family and just having some downtime. I want to recharge now before I get stuck into my winter training again and look forward to the next test in January.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “It was a positive test for me. Today, Friday, we had a great day and ticked off all the boxes on the list of our test items. Obviously, I am still not 100% fit in my physical condition, so I am quite surprised with the lap times we managed. Now I can enjoy Christmas. I have given the engineers a lot of feedback on some of the new parts so we can expect to make another good step when we ride the bike again in January. It was really nice for me to check the condition of my shoulder, which was positive, but there is still a long way to go. It was also really nice to see some improvements coming from the Kawasaki guys and all of the KRT team. A good test after a long season, and a difficult one for me, with some injuries and without the results we wanted. But I can go home now, reset over Christmas and the New Year period and I am looking forward to 2022. Personally, I want to say a massive thank you to all of the team. It has been a long season for everybody – from the hospitality guys, the truck drivers, mechanics, everybody. It has been really, really nice and it’s a pleasure to be part of the team – see you soon guys!”
Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: “The test has been positive and for three days the weather has been good. We concentrated on the chassis side at first, comparing different items with a good result. Johnny gave us very good and accurate information and comments and this helps us a lot to develop things and understand our direction. On the first day we tried something from Showa, something new, and Johnny was also very happy with those items. On the second day we analysed everything and prepared for riding again on day three. We have ten test days during the whole year so we have to save some days for the future tests. On the final day we focused more on the engine side because KMC has been working hard to send us some new material for 2022. We focused with the engine and clutch and Johnny was very happy. The rhythm in terms of lap times was very strong, and we did not use a qualifying tyre. I am honestly very pleased and happy to finish this test in this direction because Johnny was ‘talking’ very deep with the bike and enjoying riding it, and this is very important.”
Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Alex Lowes, stated: “We had a very nice test. We had a lot of updated material and we got to tick everything off the list. We tested every single new part during these last days and the weather was also very good. We felt we found improvements in every single area of the bike. The rider left with a very big smile on his face! Now we have all the information to start from a slightly different and higher specification when we test again in January. We will start to build again from that moment.”