MIXED EMOTIONS FOR BMW MOTORRAD MOTORSPORT AT THE WORLDSBK FINALE AT PHILLIP ISLAND
It proved to be a difficult final weekend for BMW Motorrad Motorsport at Phillip Island in Australia. Constant weather changes made getting the right set-up and tyre selection a real challenge. Having rained beforehand, conditions were dry for the Superpole at noon on Saturday. Michael van der Mark (NED / BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) ended qualifying in 15th place.
The track was wet for the start of race one on Saturday afternoon but dried quickly during the race, with the entire field pitting to change tyres. Van der Mark crashed twice and had to retire. Conditions were similar for the Superpole Race on Sunday morning. Van der Mark had to come into the pits during the race to switch from wets to slicks, and eventually came home 21st. On Sunday afternoon, the race was red flagged after Eugene Laverty’s accident – he was hit by another rider – and van der Mark ended the last race of 2022 in twelfth.
Michael van der Mark, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 15 / R01: DNF / SP Race: 21 / R02: 12): “This Sunday was not ideal. In warm-up this morning, I felt okay but we had a technical issue, so I lost a lot of track time. Then before the Superpole Race, it started to rain really hard. We were on the rain tyres, and I knew the track was drying but I did not expect it to dry that quick. From the first lap I knew it was the wrong decision so changed to slicks and did what I could. In race two, I had an okay start but was in the wrong group. I felt that I could go faster if I could just get past all the other guys. I had some nice battles but towards the end I struggled more and more from the edge of the tyre and couldn’t improve. Unfortunately, Eugene then had the accident. I hope he gets well very soon. Overall, it was a season to forget but we will put it behind us and look forward to the start of the new season.”