Challenging opening weekend to Scott’s 2023 campaign at Phillip Island
After a short but busy winter break, BMW Motorrad Motorsport kicked off the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship with the new BMW M 1000 RR at Phillip Island, Australia. The ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team claimed top-ten finishes, but on the whole it was a challenging weekend for both teams and the four BMW factory riders. The best race result was a ninth place for Scott Redding in the opening race on Saturday.
After the first two practice sessions were held in sunshine and high temperatures on Friday, the weather changed on Saturday. Light rain started to fall in the third free practice session, but it was dry again by Superpole. Van der Mark in twelfth place was the best of the BMW riders in an extremely tight field. Scott, Gerloff and Baz finished 13th, 16th and 18th.
The rain returned for the start of the Saturday race. Van der Mark soon climbed to ninth place, but crashed on lap two and was forced out of the race. Scott worked his way through the field and into sixth place, but dropped back to ninth in the closing stages as his rear tyre fell off a cliff.
It rained again on Sunday morning, but the Superpole race took place in bright sunshine. Scott crossed the line in 14th at the end of the ten-lap sprint. In race two on Sunday afternoon, the BMW racers failed to make it into the top ten. Scott managed to pick up points in 13th.
The WorldSBK caravan now heads straight to Indonesia, where the second round of the season will take place this weekend (3rd to 5th March) at Mandalika.
“It has been a difficult weekend. Mickey got off to a good start in race two, he had a clear lap. I was boxed in in the first two corners and kind of missed the run with them guys. Then it was just about getting in the rhythm and I ended up with the other two BMWs. It was just a battle between us. I was trying to push but in the end I could not get away so I just sat with them and raced, trying to maybe see what is different or what the bike is doing. Then in the end I made a pass on the two guys to finish 13th. We have a lot of work to do because we are suffering a lot. Mandalika maybe is different. We have to see. The track can make a big difference.”