FUTURE SECURED: van der Mark remains with BMW for 2025 alongside Razgatlioglu

Monday, 17 June 2024 08:09 GMT

The Dutchman’s plans beyond this year were unknown, but they’ve now been confirmed with the announcement that he will be Toprak Razgatlioglu's teammate in 2025

Another seat on the 2025 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship grid is no longer available. Michael van der Mark will stay with the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team alongside Toprak Razgatlioglu for next season after a strong start to the current campaign. The first four rounds for the Dutchman have seen him get close to his best as he comes back off two injury-hit campaigns, with BMW rewarding those performances with a new contract.

ALL SIGNS POINTED TO IT: key figures spoke about wanting to keep the #60

With Razgatlioglu on a two-year contract covering 2024 and 2025, the questions about who would be his teammate were swirling although key figures from BMW – including the #54 – all gave clues about the future. Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director, said “there’s no reason to split anything up” at the Misano test, and these comments were endorsed by ROKiT BMW Team Principal Shaun Muir during Free Practice 1 at the Emilia-Romagna Round. At Assen, Razgatlioglu stated van der Mark as his teammate preference for 2025 and now that has come true, with the Dutchman staying with the team.

VAN DER MARK’S BMW HISTORY: three podiums, one win and disruption

The Gouda-born star linked up with the German manufacturer in 2021 and it’s been his most successful year with the brand to date. Three podiums came in that first season including a famous win in a mixed-conditions Tissot Superpole Race at Portimao, with the other two rostrums being third place finishes at Donington and Mandalika. He missed a big chunk of the 2022 season through injury, sitting out of the season-opening Aragon Round, returning for Assen before being injured again at Estoril. He was back in action for the French Round until the end of the season as he looked to get fully fit. 2023 started strongly but another injury, this time at Assen, forced him to miss half the season again before he returned for the Czech Round at Most; again, the end of 2023 was focused on building fitness for 2024. In 12 races this season, the Dutchman has been a regular fixture in the top ten with his best result coming in Race 2 in Barcelona, when he narrowly missed out on a podium.

BEFORE BMW: starring with Honda and Yamaha, a WorldSSP Champion

31-year-old van der Mark made his WorldSBK debut in 2015 with Honda, staying there for two seasons, and finished with nine podiums for the Japanese manufacturer. A new challenge came in 2017 when he moved to Yamaha, which would propel him to new heights in his four-year stint with them. Four wins between 2017 and 2020 as he helped develop the R1 into a title-winning package – Razgatlioglu claimed the 2021 title on it – came and he was never lower than sixth in the Championship standings for the Iwata manufacturer. He moved to BMW for 2021 and, for 2024, was reunited with the #54. Before making his WorldSBK debut, he was a title winner in WorldSSP. He claimed 10 podiums in 11 races in 2014, including six wins and was only outside the top two once – in the season-opening Phillip Island race, where he was a retirement.

VAN DER MARK SAYS: “It’s fantastic to be able to stay!”

Van der Mark said: “I am very, very happy and honoured to continue with BMW. I am really happy that especially after the two difficult years they still have the trust in me and I think that this year’s results are showing improvements. I’m really happy with how the team’s working, how the BMW M 1000 RR is working and how we are still improving it. So it’s fantastic to be able to stay. This also gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season. I’m ready to keep building our momentum and be even more ready for next year.”

BMW’S VIEW: “van der Mark and Toprak have proved in recent years that they belong to the best and will form a powerful duo”

Bongers added: “We are very pleased to have Toprak Razgatlioglu and Michael van der Mark, two absolute top riders, in our factory team for the 2025 Superbike World Championship. Both have proved in recent years that they belong to the best and will form a powerful duo on our BMW M 1000 RR next season.”

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