Motorsport fans around the world have much to look forward to from BMW in 2011. On the two-wheeled front, the hottest action will happen in World Superbike competition – the world’s premiere production-based motorcycle racing.
Last year was seen as a success by the BMW camp with team Motorrad taking one Pole position and a second place finish during the season, finishing half way down the points board. 2011 promises much more with clear objectives for the team’s first race win, and then some.
Joining Leon Haslam and Troy Corser on the grid will be James Toseland and Aryton Badovini, both riding WSBK spec S1000RRs. Officially, BMW will share technology including engine and electronics updates with the Italian team, with the expectation of data sharing and feedback from the Italian team. While it’s unlikely that team Italia will better the factory team, this remains to be seen – Toseland is, after all, a two-time WSBK world champion.
Below is BMW’s official press release:
Munich/San Donato Milanese. 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.”