After the unofficial confirmation by Toseland himself at a charity event in the UK, comes the official confirmation from the BMW Italia team. James Toseland is to race alongside 2010 Superstock 1000 champion Ayrton Badovini in the satellite BMW Italia squad for 2011. The BMW Italia squad dominated the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup this season, and the operation is widely regarded as extremely effective.
The team is to be very much a satellite effort, rather than a privateer outfit, with BMW Italia receiving engine and electronics support from the BMW Motorrad factory squad. With Badovini having dominated the Superstock class, there is no doubting the Italian's ability, and Toseland's long and varied experience should help the squad. After losing his factory ride with the Sterilgarda Yamaha team, the BMW Italia ride is a strong alternative for Toseland.
The official press release appears below:
BMW Motorrad Italia enters Superbike World Championship.
The winning team of the 2010 Superstock 1000 FIM Cup will debut with riders Ayrton Badovini and James Toseland.
Munich/San Donato Milanese, 28th October 2010. BMW Motorrad has announced the entry of Team BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike in the 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship. The team will debut with riders Ayrton Badovini (ITA) and James Toseland (GBR) and will receive technical support from the BMW Motorrad Motorsport factory team, which is providing engines and electronics for the BMW S 1000 RR. The team will be led by Andrea Buzzoni, Director of BMW Motorrad Italia and Manager of the Superbike project; Serafino Foti, who will serve as Sporting Director; and Gerardo Acocella as Technical Director.
In 2010, BMW Motorrad Italia made its debut in international competition and won both the riders' and constructors' titles in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup, with Ayrton Badovini as lead rider for the team. The Italian squad will also continue in this series with Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA).
"BMW has it in its DNA to constantly seek maximum performance and innovative solutions, comparisons and teamwork, respect and trust, as well as a clear strategic orientation towards the objective," says Christian Kremer, CEO of BMW Group Italia. "We will be entering the FIM Superbike World Championship with the same professionalism and enthusiasm demonstrated to date; and we are sure that this effort will lead to new and important results."
"From next season, our BMW Motorrad Motorsport factory team will be joined in the FIM Superbike World Championship by a factory-supported BMW line-up in the shape of the BMW Motorrad Italia SBK team. The team has experience in motor racing - and in this championship specifically," says Hendrik von Kuenheim, General Director BMW Motorrad. "Last year in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, BMW Motorrad Italia demonstrated their ability to achieve success with the BMW S 1000 RR in impressive fashion. Although the challenge in the Superbike World Championship is that much tougher, I'm convinced that BMW Motorrad will benefit from this new addition to the field. After all, competition is the lifeblood of business. We would like to wish the team every success."
"After winning the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup, we are continuing with a renewed challenge in the sporting arena," adds Andrea Buzzoni. "We planned this ambitious project with enthusiasm and determination and we are happy to find the same enthusiasm in BMW AG's top management. Our Italian squad will receive technical support from Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport. The collaboration between the two teams will allow a profitable exchange of experience, know-how, solutions and ideas for development, all with the common objective of constantly improving performance. We are delighted to be able to assure Ayrton, who has given us such satisfaction in our racing competition debut, a well-deserved promotion. Ayrton will be riding alongside two-time world champion James Toseland, who has shown great motivation and enthusiasm for the project."