The new-look factory BMW Motorrad World Superbike squad, run by Shaun Muir Racing, has made its test debut at Almeria with the new S1000RR as it begins its preparations for the 2019 campaign with Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger.

Following the reuniting of SMR with BMW, after the British team split from Aprilia at the end of this season, the squad will run two factory-backed S1000RR in the 2019 World Superbike championship with both Sykes and Reiterberger. The pair were given their maiden feel for the new Superbike at Almeria, both completing over 100 laps each, having previously got to grips with a Superstock version of the new bike at Mirmas last month.

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While the test was primarily focused on allowing both riders to get up to speed with the new BMW, it also provided the first testing opportunity for World Superbike-specification brakes and suspension parts. After finishing the two-day test the team is confident on a base set-up ahead of pre-season tests at Jerez next month.

“The objective of the testing in Almeria was a shakedown with the Superbike. On the one hand, we were able to evaluate the modifications regarding the ergonomics and we have seen that both riders have a lot of confidence in the bike,” Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad motorsport director, said. “We were also able to test the newly-developed WorldSBK components and we can see that we are moving in the right direction.

“We have gathered important experience for the next tests and we know what work we still have to do. Of course, after two days of testing the bike is still pretty much in its infancy but we are very pleased with the basics of the motorbike and with what the team has achieved in the last few months.

“At the next test in Jerez, we will encounter our competitors for the first time and will be able to see exactly where we stand. We are looking forward to this but we would also like to concentrate solely on our own tasks and will not get distracted by the competition.”

Shaun Muir has echoed Bongers’s comments as his team refamiliarised itself with the German manufacturer having made its World Superbike debut running the previous specification S1000RR in 2016 with Josh Brookes and Karel Abraham.

“First of all, it was great to finally get the team together,” Muir said. “We had two days at the circuit before the test, getting final material together, meeting and greeting and getting an understanding for the requirements of the test.

“The two days on the circuit proved to be very positive, too. Both riders did almost 100 laps each over the two days without any major issues. We worked our way through a very detailed test schedule.

“The key points for me were that the team are working together very well and that the comprehensive test of parts and material went very positively. We have a good base-setting for both riders and a good direction to go to Jerez. So overall we are very happy.”

SMR BMW return to testing action in Jerez next January along with the rest of the World Superbike grid before heading to the official test at Phillip Island held in the run-up to the 2019 season opener at the Australian circuit.

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