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Catalunya WorldSBK | Spanish champ Ivo Lopes to sub for Michael van der Mark at BMW

The ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team has announced Ivo Lopes will step in to replace the injured Michael van der Mark for this weekend’s Catalunya WorldSBK round.

van der Mark faces a prolonged stint on the sidelines after sustaining a fractured femur in a spectacular high-side at the Geert Timmer chicane during the final race of his home round at Assen.

The Dutchman - who spent large portions of the 2022 WorldSBK season out of action due to two separate injuries to his leg and hip - underwent surgery last week to aid the recovery process, though there has been no word yet on when he could possibly return.


“First of all, we wish Michael a good recovery,” said BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Marc Bongers. “It was good to hear that the operation in Groningen was a success. 

“We are in constant contact and he has already made the first small improvements. However, he should take the time he needs to return to full fitness.”

In the meantime, BMW has turned to double Spanish Superbike Champion Lopes to assume his van der Mark’s place on the factory BMW M 1000 RR alongside Scott Redding.

“I have always dreamed of racing in WorldSBK, and that dream is now coming true. I know the Barcelona circuit very well, as I do the BMW M 1000 RR. However, the WorldSBK version of the bike is obviously different to the one I ride in the Spanish championship. 

“I will work very hard at the weekend and give it my all to support the team and BMW Motorrad Motorsport as well as possible. I would like to thank them for the faith they have put in me, and also to wish Michael van der Mark a speedy recovery!”

CLICK HERE to view the 2023 WorldSBK Championship standings after Round 3 of 12

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