The FIM today issued a press release announcing that Bimota will play no further part in the World Superbike series. The small Italian specialist was unable to produce the 125 units for sale to production. Market conditions continue to be very difficult in the sports bike segment, especially for minor manufacturers.
The FIM announced that Bimota has been suspended, not excluded. Once they reach the 125 unit target, they will be allowed to participate again, with the following target being 250 units after one year, and 1000 bikes by the end of the second year. The press release appears below:
Bimota halted from further competition in FIM Superbike World Championship rounds
The Italian manufacturer reappeared under new management and showed promise when they announced their new model, the Bimota BB3 at the EICMA show in Milan last November. Plans for participation in the 2014 FIM Superbike World Championship emerged and they were in contact with the FIM and Dorna.
Participation in the FIM Superbike and Supersport World Championships or in the FIM Superstock 1000cc Cup requires any manufacturer to produce a minimum number of street legal motorcycles, identical to the presented model for homologation, at the initial inspection (125 units), before participation. Furthermore, other minimum quantities must be produced at subsequent dates (250 units by the end of the first year; 1000 units by the end of the second year).
Changes in economy and the motorcycle market in the past 5 years made FIM and Dorna reduce the required entry level and total production numbers. Additionally, a new rule was installed, allowing manufacturers to participate in Superbike events for a period of 4 months from initial date of participation without scoring points. By the end of the four month period, the manufacturer in question must show proof of 125 units produced at the initial inspection visit.
To date, past the 4 month period, Bimota has informed FIM and Dorna that the required quantity has not been produced. The homologation procedure and their participation is on hold until the date that the Italian manufacturer can meet the homologation requirements.