For the second round of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldBSK), the Althea BMW Racing Team and the BMW Motorrad Motorsport specialists headed to Thailand. The race weekend at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram ended with a top five finish for Jordi Torres (ESP): he was fifth on his BMW S1000RR in Sunday’s race, after crossing the line seventh on Saturday. His teammate Markus Reiterberger (GER) also claimed a top 10 result with tenth place on Sunday. On Saturday, Reiterberger was 14th.
It was very hot weekend, with air temperatures rising to 97°F (36°C). Both Althea BMW Racing Team riders had strong practice sessions on Friday and proceeded directly to the deciding Superpole 2. Torres and Reiterberger qualified tenth and 12th respectively on the grid for Saturday’s race.
When the lights turned off, Torres began his catch-up and after 20 laps, he brought his RR home in seventh position. The result meant fourth place on the reversed grid for Sunday’s race. Torres improved to fifth position, but the race had to be red-flagged on lap five after a competitor crashed due to a technical failure leaving oil on the track. When the race was re-started for 16 laps, Torres was seventh on the grid. He moved up to fifth place again and defended his position to the finish line in a strong battle against Welsh rider Chaz Davies.
“We did a great job this weekend,” reported Torres. “We tried to get some grip at maximum angles to take the turns perfectly. The results of both races here in Thailand confirm our good work. Currently, the gap to the guys in front is still a bit too big, but we know very well which direction to take and what to change to further improve.”
His German teammate Reiterberger also showed a strong race pace but struggled in the opening laps of both races. On both occasions, he dropped several positions before he could start to work his way forward. On Saturday, he was 14th and on Sunday, he secured his first top 10 finish of the season, crossing the line in tenth.
“Overall, we could say that the weekend was okay,” Reiterberger summed up. “We started with last year’s settings on Friday and that went very well. Unfortunately the changes we made for the next sessions did not entirely pay off and we did not manage to improve. In both races, I had bad luck in the opening laps, as I ran pretty wide in the first corners and lost positions. In addition I missed my braking point twice which was my mistake. But apart from this, the race went pretty well and I got faster and faster towards the end. I just lost the chance for better results in the early stages. We now need to analyse why I have these issues on the opening laps and work on this for the next races.”
WorldSBK will now return to Europe with the third round of the 2017 season being held at Spanish MotorLand Aragón from March 31 to April 2.
Malaysia Superbike Championship in Sepang, Malaysia.
The 2017 Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSC) consists of five rounds and last weekend, the season opener was held at Sepang International Circuit near Kuala Lumpur (MAS). It was a successful start for the BMW Motorrad Motorsport racers, with two wins and a further podium finish.
In the Superbike class (MSC SBK), Muhammad Farid Badrul Hisam (MAS / HKM Times Bike Racing Team) was victorious in the second of the two races. He took the win on his BMW HP4 after an exciting battle at the front. It was the perfect comeback after he had failed to finish the first race. Linggam Rammoo (MAS / Sport Rider Racing Team) also finished both races in the top 10: he was seventh and ninth respectively.
In the Superstock class (MSC STK), Nasarudin Mat Yusop (MAS) / BMW Motorrad Malaysia Team) continued his streak of success from previous years. He celebrated the win in race one on his BMW S1000RR and finished the following race second on the podium. Dominic Chang (SIN / Sport Rider Racing Team), a familiar face in the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy, retired in race one but was eighth in race two.
The second round of the 2017 MSC will be held from April 28-30 at Sepang.
Australian Superbike Championship in Wakefield Park, Australia.
After the season opener three weeks ago at Phillip Island (AUS), the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) teams and riders met at Wakefield Park near Goulburn (AUS) for the second round of 2017. In difficult conditions, Troy Guenther (AUS) of the NextGen Motorsports team was 18th in race one and finished 12th in race two.
Troy Guenther: “We had a tough weekend with changeable weather conditions causing difficulty for all the riders and teams. We worked well to find a variety of setups for the BMW S1000RR for wet and dry conditions. We were able to take many positives from this weekend at Wakefield. Our qualifying was really strong, getting our first top 10 for both race starts. Our race pace was consistent and good enough to put us inside the top 10 with some of the seasoned Superbike riders in the ASBK Championship. We now have a clear direction with the bike and where we can improve ahead of the next round at Winton. A big thanks to the Next Gen Motorsports team for their ongoing support and faith in me.”
Round three will be held from April 28-30 in Winton (AUS).