Donington BSB: BMW struggle right through the field

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Picture: Impact Images

BMW made an inauspicious start to their 2020 Bennetts British Superbike Championship campaign at the opening round at Donington Park at the weekend with just three top ten finishes between the leading four teams and seven riders.

All of those were taken by the Rich Energy OMG Racing duo of Luke Mossey and Hector Barbera - sixth in race one for Mossey and two tenths for Barbera - but they all struggled.

The Global Robots pairing of Peter Hickman and Alex Olsen were blighted by brake issues all weekend, a problem that also affected both Barbera and Joe Francis on the Lloyd and Jones machine. The Spaniard was able to set a new lap record and run at the front initially but faded badly to tenth in each of Sunday’s races whilst Mossey could only score three more points.

Having finished in the top six overall in each of the last three years, Hickman had two uncharacteristic falls in practice and qualifying before running off track in race two and, picking up just nine points, he was left scratching his head at the end of the weekend.

“It’s been a very disappointing weekend to be honest especially as the whole team has worked so hard from the very beginning,” said Hickman.

I had two unfortunate, and silly, crashes in practice and qualifying and issues throughout with the brakes so it’s hard to know what to say.”

“We had the problem with the brakes during 2019 but thought we’d cured it out in Guadix in testing as we had no issues at all there but as soon as we got here, I couldn’t get the bike stopped. We changed so much to try and improve things but all to no avail so it was a hard weekend and the brake issue remained with me throughout.”

The Synetic BMW team didn’t fare any better with Bradley Ray and Taylor Mackenzie ending the three races with just six and one point respectively although their problems were more physical than mechanical.

They also encountered brake issues early on in the weekend although these were resolved for the races and it was a serious knee injury, suffered in a training accident, that handicapped Mackenize. Ray, meanwhile, was content with the base setting of the S1000RR but, like a number of other riders, suffered arm pump in the later stages of race three which saw him drop out of the top ten.