BMW Satellite Team In WSBK
BMW has been making a big push in the marketing of its new sportbike, the S1000RR. Facing the difficulty of persuading the public that their products are more than just long-distance tourers or specialist curiosities, the German manufacturer has concentrated its efforts on racing, hiring Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus to contest the World Superbike championship and give them a presence on the global stage.
Now that the S1000RR has been officially launched (onboard footage from the launch available here), BMW is putting a big push into getting more of its bikes on to Superbike grids around the world. At least two teams will be fielding the bikes in the German IDM championship, with former World Supersport rider Barry Veneman joining the ranks of BMW riders in the IDM earlier this week. BMW will be fielding a two-man team in the Superstock class in BSB next year, and rumors continue that the factory will be supplying bikes and support to a team for the AMA series as well.
To the ever-expanding ranks of BMW Superbike teams at the national level can be added the first BMW satellite team in World Superbikes. The immensely well-informed Swiss publication Speedweek is reporting that the German team Reitwagen Racing has struck a deal with BMW to field S1000RRs in the World Superbike championship next season. The young Austrian Roland Resch will ride the S1000RR, and though rumors continue that the team will field a second rider, confirmation of that is yet to be forthcoming.
Team manager Andy Werth was keen to point out that they will not be a second BMW factory team. "We are a satellite team, which will receive support from the factory in specific areas," he told Speedweek.
The move is all part of BMW's long-term strategy for the S1000RR. Shortly after the bike was announced, BMW spokespeople told the press that the aim of the project was for the S1000RR to be the default choice for private teams wanting to compete in the World Superbike championship. Although the global financial crisis has taken some of the pace out of that idea, the deal with the first BMW satellite squad is a big step in that direction.