Micahel van der Mark in action at Jerez for Winter Testing

Subject to medical clearance, BMW factory rider Michael van der Mark will return to action this weekend at Round 2 of the 2022 World Superbike Series at Assen.

Van der Mark fractured his leg while training on a mountain bike in March, requiring him to undergo surgery just weeks before the start of the new campaign in Spain, forcing him out of the final two pre-season tests of the year and the opening round at Aragon earlier this month.

Whilst still not fully fit, the 29 year old has spent the last few weeks at home recovering from the injury. He is now confident of getting the all-clear from doctors to take part at Assen on April 22-24.

“After the forced break of several weeks I feel ready to return at my home round in Assen. Of course it depends on the final medical check on Thursday but I am confident I can get back on my BMW M 1000 RR at the weekend,” said van der Mark.

“The healing process after the surgery went very well. I also had several treatments that additionally seem to have helped to speed up my recovery. I regularly trained in the gym, with an adjusted programme, and that enabled me to keep my fitness at a high level.

“Of course, I am not expecting to ride at the top at Assen. I know that it will be a challenge, as I haven’t ridden my WorldSBK BMW M1000RR since the end of last year and I missed all the pre-season tests in spring time so I also don’t know all the developments made over winter and I first need to understand them before I can benefit from them.

“In addition, I am feeling very well but am not back to 100 per cent fitness yet, so for me, the most important thing would be to be back in action without focusing on any results. Then we move forward step by step.”

With van der Mark sidelined his place at the factory BMW squad was filled by IDM champion Ilya Mikhalchik, who managed to finish eighth on his debut at Aragon before bagging a point for his15th placed finish in the final race of the weekend.

The second works BMW M1000RR ridden by Scott Redding, endured a torrid first weekend with the German manufacturer culminating in a retirement in the second full-distance race.

“Assen is a good track for me, a track that I had a lot of good results on in the past,” said Redding, who has been tasked with leading BMW’s works effort this year after two seasons at Ducati.

“It’s a track I really enjoy to ride. I love going to Holland, the atmosphere is always amazing with the fans there. I also lived there for a while, so I have some friends there and it feels very good for me to go to Assen.

“I think it is maybe a circuit a little bit better for our bike, so I hope to work on better results than in Aragon and work from there. So I look forward to the weekend.”

BMW Motorrad World Superbike Team M 1000 RR at Barcelona Testing