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Superbike Interview: BMW’s Berthold Hauser

Superbike Interview

With BMW Motorrad Motorsport fresh from recording its first podium finish in the FIM Superbike World Championship, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Berthold Hauser weighs up the performance of the BMW S1000RR World SBK Team and riders Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus.

Question: Berthold Hauser, the race weekend at Monza was the most successful in the still short history of BMW Motorrad Motorsport in the Superbike World Championship. How would you sum up the team’s latest showing?

Berthold Hauser says: "This very positive result is deserved reward for all our hard work over the past few weeks. It’s just a good feeling to finally get our first podium. We’ve all greatly enjoyed the moment."

"It’s even surprised us slightly that we’ve managed to get this far this quickly. However, we’re also aware that we’re not one of the top teams yet. We still need to develop the necessary consistency to finish on the podium on merit on a regular basis."

"We’re certainly not about to start taking it easy; instead, we’ll continue to work purposefully and rigorously to ensure we get back onto the podium as soon as possible. We’re racers and are only satisfied when we’re performing well enough to be consistently in with a shout of victory."

Questions: What are the reasons for the team’s upward trajectory?

Berthold Hauser says: "We see the last year as a year of development. We had to build up the team’s structures, and processes and workflows had to bed themselves in. We went into our first season on the grid with no experience from the circuits and still without a test crew."

"The situation this year looks rather different. We’ve been able to build on proven practices and data and have got into the groove of working together; we’ve made our team structure and processes at the circuits much more professional."

"Our technical department is doing an outstanding job; the BMW S 1000 RR is a much better machine than a year ago in terms of chassis, engine and electronics. And the riders are really motivated in what they’re doing."

Question: On the subject of the riders: Troy Corser has made a convincing impression since the start of the season with a string of good results. How would you rate his performances?

Berthold Hauser says: "Troy has done a great job from day one this season. He is impressing us every weekend at the moment with the way he’s riding, and he’s very professional and single-minded in his work. I’m happy with his fitness level – although of course there’s always potential for improvement with every rider."

Question: Ruben Xaus has endured his fair share or criticism at times this season. How do you see his performances up to now?

Berthold Hauser says: "Ruben had a lot of bad luck at the start of the season. We knew that it wouldn’t make sense to start putting pressure on him – Ruben is a consummate professional and has been his own biggest critic. After the race at Phillip Island, Davide Tardozzi, in particular, focused on building up Ruben’s confidence again."

"And the results have been impressive over the last two race weekends. Ruben has shown that he’s back on track, and posted his best result so far for the team at Monza. I was personally very disappointed that he was unable to finish the second race after becoming the innocent victim of an accident at the start before the first chicane."

Question: How has Davide Tardozzi fitted into the team?

Berthold Hauser says: "Davide looks after team management and operational control for the team at the race tracks. He calls the shots in the pits – in terms of how the team is working, but also when it comes to tactical decisions with a direct influence on performance. His many years of experience in motor sport make him an invaluable asset for the team."

"The structure of the team presented in January ensures that we are set up well for the future. Team management and team organization are important roles within the team, and Davide is doing an outstanding job in both these areas. At the same time, this reshuffle has given Rainer Bäumel the chance to focus on the core areas of Overall Project Management and Engineering."

Question: What is your attitude going forward?

Berthold Hauser says: "We’re not about to start taking it easy."

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