British rider makes BMW Motorrad WorldSBK racing debut at Phillip Island.
Tom Sykes admits his S 1000 RR still has its limitations after making his racing debut with the all-new BMW Motorrad WorldSBK outfit at Phillip Island’s opening round of the 2019 FIM Motul Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) over the weekend.
Acknowledging it’s early days in the motorcycle’s development, Sykes explained he was able navigate his way through the field in the more technical sections of the seaside circuit, however a lack of straight line performance forced him to relinquish positions down the long stretches at the Island.
Scoring seventh in race one followed by 11th in the Superpole race and 13th in race two, the British ace is adamant the results don’t reflect his current position.
“It has been a challenging day but I have to say that our results do not reflect where we really are,” Sykes stated. “It is just unfortunate that at the moment the bike still has some limitations in the straight line performance but it’s still very early days and on the positive side we have a very good chassis set-up.
“During the race we were able to make some good passes but then lost it again on the easy part of the track. We have shown we are capable of running in the top five during all tests and practices and when we are riding alone, so we know which area we have to work on the bike.
“We have some race mileage under our belt and I know that now the entire BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team will work hard to keep progressing like we did in the winter.”
Phillip Island was dominated by Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in his WorldSBK debut, while taking the all-new Panigale V4 R to three race victories in its first competitive outing on the world stage.