2011 WSBK Team Preview: BMW Italia

World Superbike

After the historic success obtained last year in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup, won by the almost all-conquering Ayrton Badovini (nine wins out of 10), the BMW Motorrad Italia team will now be trying their luck in the top category of World Superbike.

The World Superbike BMW squad, headed by Serafino Foti, will be making its first appearance in the category, retaining the services of the Italian rider and entering another S1000RR machine for two-times world champion James Toseland (photos).

The Sheffield man’s World Superbike career is in fact closely linked to the Italian team’s staff, as they won the 2004 title together with the factory Ducati Fila outfit.

This year will also see a return to Superbike for Ayrton "Speedy" Badovini, who raced in the category in 2008 and 2009 with Kawasaki Pedercini and PSG-1. The 24-year-old from Biella will be one of five Italian riders in the 2011 championship.

The Italian BMW outfit has put together an ambitious project, one that is supported by the parent company in Germany and characterized by a constant interflow of data with the factory team, as well as constant technical updates of the bike every time new components are approved and adopted by the factory squad.

A first opportunity to verify the progress made by the BMW team will be the Infront Motor Sports tests at Phillip Island on Feb. 21-22, but above all the opening round of the season at the same circuit the following weekend.