With all of the prototype seats occupied for 2014 - barring a contractual bust up between Ducati and Ben Spies, which is only an expensive theoretical possibility at the moment - battle has commenced for the rest of the MotoGP seats regarded as being most competitive. While the factory bikes - the bikes in the factory and satellite teams being raced as MSMA entries - are all taken, the privateer machines - using Dorna spec ECU software and extra fuel - are still mostly up for grabs.
BMW Motorrad today issued the following press release, announcing the end of factory involvement in World Superbikes, and a shift of focus to supplying customer teams. Analysis of the announcement will follow, once we have more idea of the full implications of this:
BMW Motorrad continues its strategic realignment in motorsport.
With effect from the end of the 2013 season, BMW Motorrad will terminate its commitment in the FIM Superbike World Championship in order to strengthen the customer sports programme.
Marco Melandri has undergone surgery to fix the pain he had been suffering in his right shoulder. The Italian had damaged his shoulder in a crash last year at Portimao, and been treated for the problem over the winter. The initial feeling after testing had been good, but another crash at Phillip Island exacerbated the problem once again, and Melandri elected to undergo surgery on his return to Italy.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams, as well as the series organizer, after qualifying on Saturday at Phillip Island:
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team - Phillip Island - Superpole
With the first full test for the World Superbike class behind us, and the first test of the MotoGP grid about to get underway at Sepang at the end of this week, it is time to take a look at motorcycle racing's preseason, and evaluate where we stand so far. Just what is the state of play for both MotoGP and World Superbike in 2013?
The BMW Goldbet World Superbike and Pata Honda World Supersport teams issued the following press release after two-day test at Jerez:
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team - Winter Testing - Jerez
The 2013 season has gotten off to a very damp start for Ducati. The Bologna factory had booked the Jerez circuit for a three-day test, for both the Alstare Ducati World Superbike team and the Ducati MotoGP test team with Michele Pirro and Franco Battaini, but the rain meant that they only got a few hours of testing done, and all of that was on Monday.
BMW issued the following press release after the final World Superbike test of the year at Jerez:
BMW Motorrad - WSBK - Winter Testing - Jerez
28th to 30th November 2012.
The last day of testing of 2012 turned out to be a mirror image of the MotoGP season just finished. As it had so many times this year, rain and wind ruined conditions, making the track far too dangerous for slick tires, and too dry to do any proper testing on wets. And just as they had done so often this year, the few riders remaining at the Jerez combined MotoGP and World Superbike test spent the day sitting in the garage, watching the weather, before calling an early halt to proceedings and heading home.
BMW issued the following press release after completing testing at Aragon:
BMW Motorrad - WSBK - Winter Testing - Motorland Aragón