Although Scott Redding finished fifth in the second main race at Assen for BMW’s best result so far in the 2022 Superbike World Championship, the gap between the leaders was huge.
Michael van der Mark’s injury hit BMW’s pre-season hard, and the podium was very far away in the first two events in Aragon and Assen. Scott Redding lost 14.6 seconds in the second main race at the TT circuit in the Netherlands to winner Alvaro Bautista (Ducati), and the English man’s fifth place represents the best result for BMW this year. Had it not been for the collision of leaders Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki), it would have been seventh.
The 12-time race winner Redding has apparently not yet teamed up with the four-cylinder BMW M1000RR. “I have my opinions and ideas, but they go a little bit against their concept,” noted Scott, who has ridden a Ducati V4 for the past three years. “What I want and feel is different from what they think is right. It’s not a bad thing, and it’s not about right or wrong. This is their project and they know what they want. But you also have to trust me when I tell you my impressions. Sometimes you just can’t trust computers. Computers are very good, they give you a lot of data and a lot of information. But the computer is not sitting on the bike and turning the throttle.”
If the driver changes manufacturers, then both sides will always be involved: the athlete must adapt to the new motorcycle, and the team tries to satisfy his desires as closely as possible.
Mark Bongers, Director of BMW Motorsport, said on The Four-Eye Talk with SPEEDWEEK.com. “Of course the motorcycle has its own DNA and ours is different from what it’s used to. But that doesn’t mean we can just install V4. Motorcycles are simply different in nature. I wouldn’t say that after several tests it can actually indicate the direction of development. Of course we respond to his needs. , but this only goes a step within the framework of the bike’s genetics and regulations.”
“We really missed Michael as our reference driver after our first winter test,” added the 51-year-old. “At Aragon, we saw that the bike was capable of more than Scott was able to pull at the time. That’s not an accusation, it’s a statement. Of course there’s more to the motorcycle than that. But it’s also clear that the bike isn’t here right now, and we can Win races or continue to podium.We have approaches in development to solve the issues he’s struggling with.Scott hasn’t been able to get the most out of it yet, but things looked a lot better in Assen than in Aragon.Now we have methods to build on instead of being Confused.”
Redding’s statement that BMW relies more on data from computers rather than statements from drivers gives Bongers material for thought. “It’s really hard to answer,” said the Dutchman. “Of course we listen to the drivers; You have to hear from the driver and understand what he can do with the motorcycle, what works well and what he can’t. From the things he can’t do, you have to extract what you want to change. But how would you like to do that? That’s why you pick up the feedback and then look at the technology. Because that’s the only way you’ll find a solution or a direction. There are also riders who say they think it needs to be harder, longer, or stiffer here or there. I certainly don’t believe in that. But we listen closely to what the drivers are saying, and what they need to go faster. Because they are the only ones who can judge that. But how you do it comes from the computer.”
Bongers concludes, “If a driver complains about the nature of the engine, for example, you as an engineer or development team have to find methods in the background. You have to understand what he means by expressing his feelings. For example, is the torque curve too steep? And then You still have a reference for what you currently have on the motorcycle.From there you have to see if you give 5 or 10 percent more – you can’t go around the computer.There are riders who prefer adding other components from other manufacturers to the bike because they have a better feel for it. In the past. But this is not a development, it is a hobby race.”