IDM champion Mikhalchik gets BMW World Superbike call-up

BMW has called up IDM Superbike champion Ilya Mikhalchik to deputise for an injured Michael van der Mark for pre-season testing at Barcelona and Aragon.

Ilya Mikhalchik, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team

Van der Mark suffered a fractured leg in a mountain bike accident earlier this month, which is likely to result in the Dutch rider missing the opening round of the new season at Aragon on April 8-10.

Scott Redding was left to represent the factory BMW team alone in last week's Misano test, but the German marque has now recruited three-time IDM title-winner Mikhalchik for this week's two-day test at Barcelona and the Dorna-supported official test at Aragon that precedes the curtain-raiser.

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“First of all, we wish Michael a good and speedy recovery, of course," said BMW Motorrad boss Marc Bongers. "His absence shortly before the start of the season is obviously very unfortunate.

"With him being absent we partly were missing a reference to last year’s topics which made the test work a bit more difficult.

"However, in Ilya we have a very good replacement, who will stand in for him at the next two tests. With him we can now work through the test list, fine-tune the 2022 package and Michael’s crew can gel.

"Ilya knows the BMW M1000 RR well and is thus able to provide valuable input. He is a strong BMW factory rider and has thus earned the opportunity to test the WorldSBK package."

Ukrainian rider Mikhalchik is no stranger to the WSBK paddock, having competed in support categories World Supersport and Superstock 1000 in previous seasons.

More recently, he has won the German IDM domestic Superbike title on three occasions riding BMW machinery, in 2018, '19 and '21. The 25-year-old's main programme for the 2022 season is in the Spanish-based ESBK Superbike series, which kicks off at Jerez on April 2-3.


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