It seems like ancient history now, but the 2020 FIM Superbike World Championship did get in the Australian Round before the globe shut down for COVID-19. The final World Superbike race in 2020 so far was on March 1, and the production-based superbikes have been quiet since. Now, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK is back on track, with Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty putting in laps at EuroSpeedway Lausitz in northeast Germany.Sykes and Laverty were aboard their factory BMW S 1000 RR superbikes at the circuit formerly known at Lausitzring. They are preparing for the return of the WorldSBK series in early August at Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto in Spain. The weather was conducive to testing, allowing the riders to shake off the cobwebs and get down to the business of preparing for the season’s restart.
“The test at the Lausitzring was the first time we had been back at the racetrack after the first round of the season in Australia,” Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team Shaun Muir explained, “as in between we had been in lockdown with the coronavirus restrictions. We had great days of testing, the weather has been kind to us with very good conditions, and we had the opportunity to test quite a lot of parts that we have been working on during the break. It has been very successful for both Tom and Eugene, and we feel confident now that a lot of effort that the guys have been putting in at the factory will pay off now. We can look forward to another two days of testing at Barcelona in the first week of July.”“After such a long period off the bike with this tricky moment in time,” Sykes said, “it is an absolute pleasure to be here at the Lausitzring and back testing with the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. It is fair to say that while everybody was stuck at home, there has been a lot of work going on, certainly a lot of development, so this test has proved to be very vital. We certainly gathered a lot of information. It was good, and it’s a great feeling to be back on the BMW S 1000 RR. Now we all are looking forward to returning to racing shortly.”Laverty was also enthusiastic, saying, “We had a fantastic test at the Lausitzring. It was great to be back riding my BMW S 1000 RR after nearly four months off due to the pandemic, but I am still getting to know that bike. It’s only the fourth track that I rode it on, so it has been so beneficial to come here and ride it at the Lausitzring. We really benefitted from the track time in sunny conditions. Now we are ready to race again, and we will be back stronger than ever.”BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team’s next test is in Barcelona on July 8 and 9.
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This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena gives us his impression of the outrageously cool-looking new Indian Scout Rogue. The Rogue features a larger front wheel among several other changes, and the bobbed-looks and excellent 100 horsepower motor make the Scout Rogue an interesting—and very real—competitor to the offerings from Milwaukee.
In the second segment Neale Bayly brings us the third and final segment from Brian Slark—the man who helped bring Norton motorcycles to America. Having spent 27 years and counting at the Barber Museum in Birmingham Alabama, Brian talks us through the final part of his career, that of course includes how the museum got started and where it’s going.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!