With wet conditions providing a level playing field on the new Mandalika Street circuit, Van der Mark was in the front group for the entire second race, battling with champion Toprak Razgatlioglu and top independent rider Axel Bassani for the final square. on the podium.
While Bassani withdrew from the race early on, van der Mark had to fight fiercely with Razgatlioglu to secure third place, and it was only on lap 9 of 12 that he was able to seal passage in right-left-left sequence on rounds 2-3-4.
It was BMW’s fifth podium of the season and the first since Portimao, where the German driver took advantage of similar weather conditions to clinch a resounding victory in the Superpole race.
Although pleased with the progress BMW has made during the campaign, van der Mark is aware that the German manufacturer still has work to do to close the gap with Yamaha, Kawasaki and Ducati.
“I don’t think there have been as many podiums as we expected,” he said of the 2021 season. “But the superbike championship this year has been so close and so close with so many pilots fighting at the forefront.
“Plus, coming with the new M1000RR, we expected more. We can only take small steps at a time and we just need time to develop the bike.
“I think we have made good progress during the year. As a rider you always want more, but luckily next year is coming soon.
“Everything has to be better because it’s the only way for us to win. We lack a bit of power and the power is always easy, especially in the straights. It’s a combination of chassis and stuff like that.
Michael van der Mark, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Van der Mark will have a new teammate next year, with Scott Redding leaving Ducati after two seasons to replace 2013 champion Tom Sykes.
While van der Mark is hopeful that Redding can apply his Ducati knowledge to help develop the MW1000RR, he downplayed the importance of his nomination, pointing out that he and Sykes were also on the same pace during the season.
“Scott is a fast guy, but so is Tom,” he said. “Scott has Ducati experience so hopefully he can give us some inside information on what we can try out on the BMW.
“But I think this year Tom and I have shown that our results are quite similar. So I think right now we’re getting the most out of the bike and we really need to develop the package. “