Sykes finds early Free Practise pace at Imola for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team

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Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari

The Pirelli Italian Round saw a welcome return to action this morning following on from the Motul Dutch Round just a few weeks ago. Sunny skies greeted the riders at Imola and Tom Sykes was able to take early advantage of this by firmly placing himself into the top 5. Meanwhile, Markus Reiterberger just missed out on a top 10 finish in FP1 as he ended the session in P11. 

In the afternoon’s FP2 session both the pace and the weather hotted up, Tom Sykes started strongly and kept his lap times close to the top of the sheet setting mid 1’47.00 laps, he would then go on to post a 1’46.766 with minutes to go on the clock putting him in P3 on combined times. Markus Reiterberger however struggled with his BMW S 1000 RR during FP2 as he missed out on the top 10 positions, he ended the session with a fastest of 1’48.113 landing him in P13 on combined times at the end of day 1 in Imola. 

Shaun Muir – Team Principal

“A good day for Tom, he’s been comfortably in the top 5 all day and tried a few different parts and set ups with the bike which puts him in a good position for tomorrow. He’s also followed on from his good FP1 and FP2 in Assen so hopefully he can consolidate and get onto the front row in tomorrow’s superpole and have a good race. 

Markus got a good base setting in FP1 but couldn’t make a step forward during FP2, he had a small electrical issue which lost him some track time and effectively is realistically around the P12 position if not P10. We hope to make another step forward tomorrow and hopefully get into the top 3 rows for superpole.” 

Tom Sykes (GBR)

“We’ve again worked really consistently here in the Free Practises just trying various parameters with the chassis and also the tyres as we have more of a selection here. I have to say I’m really enjoying riding my BMW S 1000 RR at the moment, this track is always fantastic and the Italian fans are incredible so to be third fastest today makes me happy.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow as I feel we can still improve, the target is certainly for front row and try and utilise the chassis of the S 1000 RR during the race.”

Markus Reiterberger (GER)

“Honestly, I am a bit disappointed not to be within the top ten especially after the weekend in Assen. I’ve come here with according expectations but today I struggled with pretty much the movement in the chassis which prevented me from holding my line, this is why I did not find into my rhythm.

We will keep working hard to analyse this and make another step forward. We actually improved some details in the second practice but we’re still missing the feeling towards the front. That’s our target for the next days: work hard and keep progressing.”


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