Ivo Lopes stands in for the injured Michael van der Mark in the BMW Motorrad Motorsport family

BY Sean Loo

The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK family has a new addition from Portugal for round four of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) at Barcelona (ESP) this weekend.

Ivo Lopes (POR), who has enjoyed success for several years with the easyRace BMW Team in the Spanish Superbike Championship (ESBK), will stand in for injured BMW Motorrad WorldSBK works rider Michael van der Mark (NED) at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

26-year-old Lopes was crowned Portuguese Superbike champion in 2019 and became the first Portuguese to win the Spanish Superbike Championship in 2021 – on a BMW M 1000 RR with the easyRace BMW Team.

In the 2023 season, he has claimed one victory and two second places from the four ESBK races so far. That puts Lopes top of the table in Spain after the opening two events of the season. Lopes is now set to make his WorldSBK debut at Barcelona.

Van der Mark fractured his left thigh when he crashed out of the second main race at Assen in the Netherlands. He was operated on successfully in Groningen and is now committed to the recovery process at home. It is not yet clear when van der Mark will be able to race again. His replacement at any other events he may miss will be announced at a later date.

The ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team attended the Barcelona WorldSBK tests in March. In action back then were Redding, van der Mark and Garrett Gerloff (USA). Loris Baz (FRA) was unable to take part in the test due to injury to his foot, which he sustained in Indonesia. The Frenchman returned to the grid in Assen.