WSB: Michael van der Mark tests new BMW M1000 RR

Michael van der Mark on the new M1000 RR
Michael van der Mark on the new M1000 RR

Michael van der Mark has completed his first laps on the all-new BMW M1000 RR in a shakedown test at Miramas, France.

The Dutch rider joins the official BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team next year after spending four seasons with Yamaha. During that time, he secured four victories and 24 further podiums. Prior to his Yamaha stint, Van der Mark spent two years with Honda. 

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This was Van der Mark’s second test with the BMW team; however, it was the first with the bike he’ll actually ride in 2021. At the first test with the team, at Estoril, Van der Mark rode a modified S1000 RR used throughout the 2020 season.

“It was really good for me to have a first shakedown with the bike at Miramas,” Van der Mark said. “I think it was also really helpful to work together with the team and to get used to each other.

“We tried a couple of things which we normally don’t have the time for during a normal test, so I think it was really positive and I was just happy to be back on the bike this year and I am really looking forward to the next test.”

Van der Mark will line-up alongside Tom Sykes in the factory team, whilst there will also be two more M1000 RRs, with satellite teams, on the grid next year. Eugene Laverty has joined the RC Squadra Corse team, whilst former MotoGP star Jonas Folger will race for the Bonovo Action squad.  

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Director, added: “It is important to do a shakedown with a new rider, and the day at Miramas was very productive. Michael had his first opportunity to take to the track with the new BMW M 1000 RR and get to know his race bike for the upcoming WorldSBK season better. He was also able to provide us with initial feedback on where we can customise his bike to suit him better. 

“For example, in terms of ergonomics, the seating position, the position of the handlebar and the footrests, through to preferences when it comes to electronics. With the information that we gathered during this shakedown, we know the direction we need to go in with Michael’s bike to be well prepared for the first proper tests in 2021.”

As things stand Assen will host the 2021 WSB season opener on April 23-25. The provisional calendar includes 13 rounds but will be subject to Covid-19 restrictions around the globe.