Tom Sykes and Michael Van Der Mark secured a double top five finish on the M 1000 RR bike’s debut weekend during race two at MotorLand Aragon. 

It was a mixed weekend for the two riders overall but especially so for Sykes, who had a terrible Superpole race a couple of hours prior. 

Rain during the warm up session meant tyre choices were critical for the race and Sykes was one who suffered the most from a wrong call. 

The 2013 series winner used a wet front on a drying track and had to pit before the end of the race, however, Sykes and the BMW team then made the correct call in race two which saw him climb back through the pack and eventually challenge Alex Lowes for a podium. 

Sykes called it a ‘bittersweet day’, but compared to last year at Aragon it was a ‘huge improvement’. 

“A bittersweet day, really. We definitely had a Superpole race to forget which we won’t go into too much detail about. That meant that we compromised our start position in race two,” said Sykes. 

“For race two, I wanted to go with the slick tyre but after this morning we opted to play it safe on the intermediates. 

“Overall, after a good start it was a bit of a waiting game. I could see what the guys in front of me were doing but obviously considering the tyres we were on, I tried a different strategy to feel where the BMW M 1000 RR was working and where we had to improve. 

“Unfortunately we just missed out on the podium today, but considering our results here last year it is a huge improvement.”

Van Der Mark’s weekend got off to a disastrous start as the Dutchman crashed in FP2 and missed all of that session, plus three quarters of FP3 on Saturday morning. 

But Van Der Mark was one of a very select few not to suffer from a wrong tyre selection - fought his way from 15th to fifth in the Superpole race, before taking the same position in race two. 

Van Der Mark himself said he got the decision wrong for race two, but with only Scott Redding on slicks, it was very much a risk at the time.

Van Der Mark added: "This morning, we had a wet warm-up session which was my first time on the BMW M 1000 RR in the rain, and to be honest I had such a good feeling from the first lap. 

"The Superpole race was in mixed conditions but I opted to go with the slick tyre and in the end was the right choice. It did however keep raining at times during the race which slowed me down in places but anyway it was a good result for us. 

"This afternoon’s race two again was a gamble on tyre choice, and I knew I made the wrong choice going up to the start as the track was drying so quickly. 

"Despite that we made a good start, had some incredible battles taking the lead but I knew I was asking too much of the tyres and in the end some guys got past me. 

"But we have got to be happy with the two P5 positions and most importantly the experience I’ve gained with the BMW M 1000 RR."