It's one of the teams that has been the focus of the market for the past few weeks. We're talking about BMW, which has decided to focus on Michael van der Mark for 2021. On one side, the market's catching the spotlight, on the other, everyone's attention is on returning to the track.
On August 2nd, the curtain will rise on the World Championship, and the factory in Monaco certainly does not want to play the part of a spectator. In fact, there's trust and, at the same time, awareness by the team owner, Shaun Muir, who looks positively towards the horizon after the Barcelona tests.
“The tests at Montmelò were perfect for us," Shaun began. "The past few weeks we rode at the Lausitzring, and this was helpful for our team. We arrived in Barcelona with a few innovations, focusing mainly on electronics. We're personally very happy with the work done, not only for the flying lap, but also for the race pace. This second aspect was one of the priorities for all of us."
Shaun, the only stage held has been Phillip Island to date. On that occasion, your bike suffered wear on the rear tire, as has already happened other times.
“Exactly, that was without a doubt the main aspect on which we're concentrating in view of restarting. In recent months, we've worked on all types of areas, mainly chassis and electronics. We're competitive on the flying lap, but I'm convinced that, after the work done, we closed that existing gap and, at the same time, we have the cards to replicate the performance in the race we showed in qualifying."
What BMW should we expect in Jerez?
“A much more balanced bike than before, and I imagine myself competitive, capable of fighting for the podium. We have two riders like Tom and Eugene who have done a great job in these tests. Tom showed very interesting things, like Eugene did, who has proven to be constant on the race pace. Remember that, to date, he's only been in one race with our bike, since he didn't take part in Phillip Island Sunday due to the accident during the warm up."
When will you decide who to confirm between the two?
“After Portimao, or before the two stages in Aragon, that's what I said to the company. It won't be easy to manage both riders in such a situation. I consider it a complicated situation, but having taken on a new rider entails this difficult choice."
Shaun, tell us about van der Mark. Why did you chose him and when did the idea come up?
“This idea came up immediately after Australia, aware that there were some riders with a contract ending at the end of the season. Our priority was Michael. We haven't considered other alternatives. He's a young, fast rider with many qualities and capable of winning, or at least being on the podium, as he's demonstrated this in the past. The moment we understood that COVID-19 could be a big problem, the choice to intervene on the market was immediate, especially with an eye towards what would have been future budgets. We're thrilled that he married our project and confident that we' ll get results with him."