Friday, September 17, 2021

The next first for BMW Motorrad Motorsport: WorldSBK heads to Navarra for the first time

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For BMW Motorrad Motorsport, the FIM Superbike World Championship presents a first for the second time in two weeks. After the debut of ‘Autodrom Most’ (CZE) on the calendar, now ‘Circuito de Navarra’ in northern Spain will host the WorldSBK for the first time. This coming weekend (20th to 22nd August), the seventh round of the 2021 season will be held at the track. BMW Motorrad Motorsport had the opportunity to familiarise itself with the new track back in June. The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team with riders Tom Sykes (GBR) and Michael van der Mark (NED), as well as Bonovo MGM Racing and Jonas Folger (GER) completed a test at the track with their BMW M 1000 RR Superbikes.

The ‘Circuito de Navarra’ is located near Los Arcos in the regional community of Navarra, around 60 kilometres southwest of Pamplona. The modern racetrack, just under 4 kilometres in length, was opened in June 2010. Since then, various car and motorcycle championships have held events at the track, including the Spanish Superbike Championship ESBK.

WorldSBK heads to Navarra for the first time
© BMW Group

Quotes ahead of the Navarra round.

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “We’re already really looking forward to the race weekend at Navarra. We got an initial impression of the track during testing in June. It’s rather untypical of Superbike tracks, and first gear is needed in several places. Now we need to see what awaits us there – also in terms of the temperatures in August. We can use the information and base set-up from testing to prepare the BMW M 1000 RR for Superpole and the races. We confirmed our good race pace at Most, and the goal is to convert this into corresponding results at Navarra so we need to be strong in Superpole to get a good start position for the races. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the new parents Michael and Nadieh – and welcome to the world Mason van der Mark!”

Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “We finished Most in a reasonably strong situation. We can still see the progression of the BMW M 1000 RR. We already had a test at Navarra and we feel we have a good base setting. It has been a busy time for our riders since Most – congratulations to Michael and Nadieh on the birth of their first baby boy, Mason! Also last week, we tested with Tom at Barcelona which gave him a good, positive outcome. So all in all, we have got a lot of things to look forward to going to Navarra. The team can start FP1 in a strong position and hopefully we can carry on the progression and aim towards the podium.”

Tom Sykes, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “I’m looking forward to keeping the momentum going, with the races now coming quite fast. So we aim to build on what we understood when we were testing in Navarra some weeks ago – and also recently on the back of a test at Barcelona which was in very hot conditions. Obviously, it looks like Navarra will be warm. It’s a new circuit again for everybody so it will be interesting to see how the weekend goes, but ultimately the plan is to continue working with what we found in testing with the BMW M 1000 RR and hopefully we can transfer that kind of set-up into the hot track at Navarra and keep improving our results all of the time. I also want to take this opportunity to say massive congratulations to Michael and Nadieh on their fabulous new addition to the family, their little baby boy. That’s a massive achievement in life and I wish them all the best.”

Michael van der Mark, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “It has been an exciting time since I returned from Most. On Thursday evening after the race weekend, Mason was born and it is great be able to spend some days with the family before heading to the next round. Now we will race at Navarra, and it is always good to have a new track on the calendar. We have been testing there and it is quite different compared to other tracks. It is really narrow and overtaking can be hard. It’s good that we have done a test there, even if our bike has changed quite a lot since then, so I am curious to find out how it will work. The first goal for the weekend is to qualify a little bit better. In Most I was a bit unlucky in qualifying with some traffic, I must say, but we’ve seen that for example on Saturday and Sunday we made a huge improvement on lap times and also pace-wise so it seems that we really found a good way with the set-up of the bike. Hopefully we will find that right set-up at Navarra pretty soon so we are right at the point from the start.”

Jonas Folger, Bonovo MGM Racing: “We got to know the Navarra track during the two-day test in June. It’s not an easy track and it will be a challenge, but we will give it our all, and I hope that we can improve and find our way to the front. The most important goal for us all is to bring home points this weekend.”

WorldSBK heads to Navarra for the first time
© BMW Group

Track Facts Navarra*.

Circuit length3.933 km – clockwise
Corners15 – 9 right-handers, 6 left-handers
Pole positionLeft
Longest straight630 metres (start-finish straight)
Grip levelMedium
Track layoutVery narrow (slow corners), a bit bumpy surface, changes in elevation
Strain on brakesLower average
Amount at full throttleAprrox. 18,4 % respectively 18 seconds
Top speed / lowest speed55 km/h / 295 km/h
Best overtaking opportunityEnd of the back straight
Key factorsStability on bumps, power management when accelerating from the slow corners, agility

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