BMW WSBK Preview
With the opening motorcycle racing weekend of the 2010 FIM Superbike World Championship having taken place overseas – at Phillip Island in Victoria, Australia – the teams are now preparing for their first European outing of the season on 26th – 28th March.
This will be the third time that the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve at Portimão, Portugal has hosted races in the top category of production-based WSBK motorcycle competition.
Troy Corser Quote
"We had an extensive BMW SBK test at Portimão back in January. The circuit is technically very challenging with several uphill and quite steep downhill sections. You spend most of the lap in second and third gear. The motorcycle we raced at Phillip Island is very similar to the one we tested at Portimão."
"Although the two racetracks have different characteristics, I hope we can use Australia as a benchmark and kick on from there. If the S1000RR works like it did in Race 2 in Australia, I think we can be relatively confident about our chances."
"There’s a four-week gap between the first and second World Superbike race weekends this year, which is fairly long. I’ve been training pretty much every day to make sure I stay in shape and am as well prepared as I can be for the second race weekend of the season."
Ruben Xaus Quote
"After my crash (on the BMW S1000RR Superbike) with Noriyuki Haga in Australia I flew home on the Sunday night and, for sure, I did a lot of thinking. I took a calm, careful look at the race weekend, and at the beginning of March I sat down with Davide Tardozzi, Massimo Bartolini and my crew chief Wolfgang Martens to look at the situation. One thing is clear: I know that I’m capable of setting fast lap times on the BMW without any problems. And that’s why I’m feeling confident."
"I’m looking forward to Portimão. The track is like a rollercoaster and I like it a lot. It’s really varied; there are a lot of fast corners, but also some slower ones. You take some of them blind, so as a rider you have to be able to rely totally on your skill and intuition. Portimão is certainly one of the most exciting venues in the SBK championship."
Berthold Hauser Quote: BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
"After all our hard work over the winter and the turbulent start to the season at Phillip Island, all of us at Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport are looking forward to Portugal. Portimão hosted the final race weekend of the season in both 2008 and 2009, but this year the circuit is the first European venue on the Superbike World Championship calendar."
"It’s now been several weeks since we returned from Australia. We’ve used the time to analyse the race weekend at Phillip Island and continue working hard. Our testing team has also been busy. They completed a test in Valencia in mid-March, and Troy and Ruben are currently testing in Jerez."
"A lot of the team will travel straight to Portimão from the Jerez test. The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve has a wonderful location and is a real challenge for both the engineers and the riders. The unique, undulating track profile and large number of long and tight corners demand a solid set-up for the bike."
"Ruben has had an extremely difficult and turbulent start to the season. Since Phillip Island, the whole team has been working hard to help him deal with the repercussions of the season opener, and Ruben is putting himself under the greatest pressure of all. But he’s an experienced rider and knows how to deal with these kind of situations. The same goes for the enter BMW WSBK team."
Portimão is a popular holiday destination and tourist center in the western Algarve, with a population of just under 50,000. The town has a marina and numerous beaches; Praia da Rocha, with its distinctive rock formations, is one of the best-known beaches on the Algarve coast.
Work on the prodigious Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, nestling among the rolling hills outside Portimão, was completed in October 2008. The inaugural event at the circuit took place on 2nd November the same year with the final weekend of the 2008 FIM Superbike World Championship (WSBK).
The Autódromo is part of the Algarve Motor Park, which is also home to a state-of-the-art karting track, a technology park, a racing driver school and a five-star hotel. Within a short period of time the circuit has established itself as a firm fixture on the race calendars of many high-level motorcycle and car racing series.
Fine weather all year round and the demanding layout of the circuit also make Portimão an excellent location for Superbike testing.
The undulating motorcycle racing character of the circuit, with its climbs and steep downhill sections, is a major factor in making this such a challenging track. The last corner at Portimão is crucial in generating the necessary speed to attack the almost one-kilometre-long start/finish straight.
The host of long, sweeping corners at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve demand a solid set-up. The racebike has to be just right – especially under acceleration out of the corners. Nowhere is this more important than around the tight and twisty infield.
2010 Portimao World Superbike Race
Autódromo Internacional do Algarve / 28th March 2010
Start time SBK Race 1 (local/CET)
12.00 hrs / 13.00 hrs
Start time SBK Race 2 (local/CET)
15.30 hrs / 16.30 hrs
4.592 km/101.024 km (22 laps)
7 left-hand and 5 right-hand corners
2009 World Superbike Race Results
Race 1: Ben Spies, Yamaha R1 WSB, 38:15.390 min
Race 2: Michel Fabrizio, Ducati Xerox Team, 38:19.654 min
Fastest race lap 2009: Michel Fabrizio, Ducati Xerox Team, 1:43.529 Min.
> Top speed: 305.9 km/h (Ben Spies, Yamaha R1, Race 1)
> Longest section at full throttle: 9.5 sec / 700 m
> Fastest corner: Turn 9, third gear, 186 km/h
> Maximum deceleration: 307 km/h – 116 km/h