BMW Motorrad have announced they will not be running the factory World Superbike team next year, deciding to allow BMW Motorrad Italia (currently the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet team) to run it on their behalf. The engines will be prepared in Munich, along with the electronics, while the chassis will be handled by the Milanese outfit.
This cost-cutting consolidation means that Marco Melandri will be riding the BMW Italia machine in 2013, but his team mate is as yet unconfirmed.
The Press Release follows:
BMW Motorrad realigns motor sports activities: commitment to the Superbike World Championship 2013.
After the earlier press conference with Sylvain Guintoli, Miller Motorsports Park also organized a press conference with BMW Motorrad's Marco Melandri. Melandri faced questions on the difference between the V4s and BMW's inline 4, his adaptation to the BMW and that controversial incident in the final corner of race two at Donington Park. Below is the press release interview issued by Miller Motorsports Park with Melandri:
Miller Motorsports Park Presents: Five Questions with Marco Melandri
A switch to BMW for 2012 results in the German marque’s first World Superbike victory
TOOELE VALLEY, UTAH (May 24, 2012) — Miller Motorsports Park will again host the USA Round of the FIM Superbike World Championship on The BigM Weekend, May 26-28. As was the case last year, we will visit with race winners and other notable riders participating in the championship after each race during the 2012 season leading up to The BigM Weekend and bring you a new chapter in the “Five Questions with” series.
The subject of our fourth installment of the season is 29-year-old Italian Marco Melandri, who rides the No. 33 BMW S1000 RR for BMW Motorrad Motorsport. Melandri, who came to World Superbike last year with Yamaha, having spent the past seven seasons in MotoGP. Prior to moving up to MotoGP, he won the 250cc World Championship for Aprilia in 2002. He won four races and one pole with Yamaha, but made the move to BMW this year to take the seat vacated by the retiring Troy Corser. He made history at England’s Donington Park circuit on May 13, taking the German marque’s first series victory, and heads into this weekend’s BigM Weekend at Miller Motorsports Park with significant momentum.
BMW have been waiting for a win in World Superbikes for a long time. Ever since they entered the series in 2009, the German factory has been edging ever closer to podiums and a victory, but they have always proved elusive. At Donington, they finally got what they had been waiting for for so long, and more: Not only did Marco Melandri become the first ever rider to win a World Superbike race on a BMW, but his teammate Leon Haslam finished 2nd, making it a historic 1-2. The duo could even have repeated the feat in the second race at the British track, if not for some rather excessively enthusiastic riding on the part of the two leaders and Johnny Rea.
After the victory, BMW issued a press release containing an interview with Melandri and Haslam, talking about their historic result at Donington. It is reproduced below:
After the first one-two: Double-interview with Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam.
If the opening round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship taught us anything, it's that this looks to be a two-horse race. Assuming no major wrenches are thrown in the works. Aprilia's Max Biaggi and Althea Ducati's Carlos Checa had the pace of everyone else in the field covered. Handily. And each of the early championship-protagonists cruised to victory without having to worry about the other after a couple of off-track excursions.
Saturday’s World Superbike Superpole and World Supersport final qualifying sessions from Philip Island were cancelled after a serious accident in the Australian Supersport race resulted in the death of Australian rider Oscar McIntyre. The 17-year-old collided with fellow racers Luke Burgess and Michael Lockhart on the second lap of the Australian support race and died despite receiving immediate medical treatment at the scene. Because of the seriousness of the accident, the event organizers decided to cancel Superpole.
Press releases from the World Superbike teams after the private test at Phillip Island:
With the 2012 World Superbike season just over two weeks away, preparations are ramping up for the return of racing. As part of those preparations, BMW issued a press release interview with their new Head of Race Operations, Andrea Dosoli. Dosoli came to BMW from Yamaha, along with Marco Melandri, who he had previously worked with at the Hayate team formed when Kawasaki officially pulled out of MotoGP in 2009. In the interview, Dosoli covers a lot of ground, including his impression of BMW's World Superbike effort, his role within the team, his expectations of the BMW S1000RR machine and his hopes for riders Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam.
Below is the text of the interview, issued by BMW:
Interview with Andrea Dosoli: “BMW Motorrad Motorsport has a lot of potential in many areas.”
The BMW press office issued the following press release interview with Marco Melandri. In the interview, Melandri talks about being pleasantly surprised by the BMW, working with new teammate Leon Haslam, and his impressions of the 2012 season. Here's the press release:
BMW Motorrad factory rider Marco Melandri: "I am very confident about the bike."
The BMW World Superbike squad spent two days testing at Valencia, where they worked mainly on electronics strategies and the latest version of the BMW S1000RR engine. Below is the press release issued after the test:
Despite the loss of the factory Yamaha team, the World Superbike series is still in relatively good health, considering the financial crisis. Though the days of 30+ rider grids are gone, grid size has stabilized at around the 22 rider mark, 1 up from last year, while there are still 6 manufacturers present, Aprilia, BMW, Ducati and Kawasaki in an official capacity, Honda unofficially via Ten Kate, and Suzuki absent, with Crescent working with Yoshimura on their own bikes.
The field has seen some changes, though most of the title favorites are staying with the teams they were with in 2011. Carlos Checa remains with Althea Ducati, though the effort expands to include 2011 Superstock champ Davide Giugliano, while Max Biaggi is in the second year of his 2-year contract with Aprilia, and Johnny Rea is staying with the Ten Kate Honda squad. Championship runner up Marco Melandri has been forced to move, joining Leon Haslam at BMW, while his erstwhile teammate Eugene Laverty has been paired with Biaggi in the factory Aprilia squad. The factory Kawasaki rider contingent is cut from 3 to 2, Chris Vermeulen losing his slot, while Tom Sykes remains alongside Joan Lascorz.