BMW expects 2022 WorldSBK wins… and it ‘needs to do it quickly’

After a disappointing campaign with the BMW M 1000 RR, the German manufacturer says it needs to start winning quickly when the 2022 WorldSBK season begins

Michael van der Mark - BMW Motorrad WorldSBK

BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team principal Shaun Muir says there is an expectation the manufacturer will be challenging for race wins from the opening rounds of the 2022 WorldSBK Championship despite a lacklustre 2021 campaign with the BMW M 1000 RR.

BMW, which returned to WorldSBK in a full factory capacity in 2019 as part of a collaboration with Shaun Muir Racing, stepped up its programme in 2021 by replacing the erstwhile BMW S 1000 RR with the BMW M 1000 RR.

Launched in response to the S 1000 RR’s modest seasons in 2019 and 2020 - during which it achieved only four podiums - the BMW M 1000 RR is seen as a limited edition ‘homologation’ special in that it has been developed expressly for success on track and is available in limited numbers for roadgoing users.

However, despite high expectations, the BMW M 1000 RR wasn’t the big step forward as hoped in 2021, with riders Tom Sykes and Michael van der Mark struggling to bridge the gap to the factory Yamaha, Kawasaki and Ducati contingent in front.

Indeed, though the year did deliver BMW its first WorldSBK win in 2013 when van der Mark took a Superpole Race win in the wet in Portimao, it finished a distant fourth in the manufacturers’ standings.

Nevertheless, BMW says it has identified the problems that held it back in 2021 - mid to top end power - and can thus unlock a lot more potential from the package, while it has high hopes in a revised rider line-up that will now include 13-time race winner Scott Redding.

As such, not only is Muir expecting a much improved 2022 WorldSBK campaign, the anticipation from BMW is that it will be battling for wins from Round 1.

“We've got two or three areas where we’ll focus on really hard over winter. The development guys are working on that already and we know that first test we'll do, we'll show those steps and those gains will have been made. We can really say that we're going to give both riders a bike that can win races from round one.”

“We're going to 2022 with race winners and when you're signing riders of that level, you're expecting to be winning from the first race. 

“So, that's my only statement I can make on what our expectations are next year. If I'm speaking on behalf of Michael and Scott, they're expecting to be fighting for the podium in the very first race. 

“Our test program, our development program and the commitment from everyone in the team and within BMW is proven that we have to start winning races and we need to do it pretty quick.”

In addition to van der Mark and Redding on the factory BMW M 1000 RR, the German Bonovo Racing team will get more factory-spec satellite machinery in 2022 for its riders Loris Baz and Eugene Laverty.