Michael van der Mark joins BMW Motorrad for 2021 WorldSBK

Just days after confirming his exit from Yamaha, Michael van der Mark announces he will move to the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team for the 2021 season

Michael van der Mark - Pata Yamaha

Michael van der Mark has confirmed he will join the BMW WorldSBK Motorrad team for the 2021 WorldSBK Championship.

The Dutchman caused a stir earlier this week by formally announcing he will depart Yamaha at the end of the 2020 campaign, raising speculation he was on close to an agreement with BMW.

That has now been formally confirmed with the German manufacturer – run by British Superbike Champions Shaun Muir Racing – announcing three-time WorldSBK race winner van der Mark will indeed make the move for next year.

“We are delighted to welcome Michael to the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team,” said Shaun Muir. “He brings a wealth of experience and is one of the youngest, most talented riders on the WorldSBK grid. Securing Michael’s services emphasises the focus and determination we have to compete for top honours, and we will give Michael every chance to reach that goal.”

“We are very pleased about our agreement with Michael, who has developed very strongly in the Superbike World Championship in recent years”, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Marc Bongers added. 

“We are convinced that Michael is an asset to our project, and together, in combination with the strong package we can offer him, we can reach the next level in terms of results.  We would like to welcome Michael to the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and look forward to a strong cooperation.”

van der Mark’s confirmation comes ahead of WorldSBK’s plan to resume racing on August 2nd and signals that either Tom Sykes or Eugene Laverty will be out of the team at the end of the season.

Sykes, who joined in 2019 from Kawasaki, has enjoyed encouraging results in that time, including scoring BMW’s first pole position for 10 years at Donington Park, a feat he repeated at the Phillip Island opener in January.

Laverty, meanwhile, joined BMW at the start of the year but didn’t compete in two of the three Phillip Island races due to injury.