BMW SBK Interview
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport posted the best result yet in its short history in the FIM Superbike World Championship at Valencia. Here, Technical Director Rainer Bäumel talks about the technical advances the team has made with the 2010 WSBK BMW S 1000 RR and assesses the performance of the team and BMW rider Troy Corser.
Question: Rainer Bäumel, the race weekend at Valencia was the most successful in the young history of Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport in the Superbike World Championship. How would you assess the team’s performance?
Rainer Bäumel: "From a technical standpoint, the recent tests and race weekends have been extremely positive as a whole. Our test data and race results show that our calm and thorough way of working is, step by step, bringing us closer to the leading teams."
"The second race at Valencia should be treated as a separate case; the high track temperature in the afternoon caused us some issues with grip. Nonetheless, Troy’s performance throughout the weekend shows that we are capable of setting consistently fast times."
"Our testing team are currently in action at Mugello, then comes the race weekend at Assen, followed by more testing at Misano. I’m sure we’ll learn more important things about the bike over this period."
Troy Corser enjoyed the lion’s share of this success. How would you sum up his performance?
Rainer Bäumel: "Troy was extremely focused over the whole weekend at Valencia. In the first race he launched the bike off the start line straight into the lead. And later on he defended his fourth place successfully, in a spectacular battle with Noriyuki Haga."
"In a nutshell, Troy has done a fantastic job. I’ve never seen him fighting like this before in his time with us. I’m very proud of what’s he’s doing, and working with him is a lot of fun."
Question: Troy praised the new traction control software several times over the race weekend. To what extent does it differ from the software previously used?
Rainer Bäumel: "The new software enables the traction control to work to optimum effect and reduces chassis movements. And that makes it easier for our riders to take corners faster and more cleanly mid-drift."
Question: How much potential is there still in the BMW S1000 RR?
Rainer Bäumel: "The potential of the bike depends to a large degree on the characteristics of the different circuits. Our aim is to get as much as we can out of the bike given the circumstances at each particular track. Over the last few weeks we’ve been racing at circuits where we’ve struggled in the past."
"With that in mind, it’s very promising to have delivered good performances at both Portimão and Valencia. When we get to places like Monza, Silverstone, the Nürburgring and Magny-Cours, we’re sure to reap the rewards of the advances we’re making at present."