2012 World Superbike
Following the 2011 World Superbike finale at Portimao, the 2012 BMW Motrrad team of Leon Haslam and newcomer Marco Melandri remained at the Portugal circuit, testing next season’s S1000RR Tuesday.
Haslam and Melandri were able to test the S1000RR under optimal track conditions, allowing for the first collection of testing data for the 2012 World Superbike Championship.
BMW Motorrad says changes have already been implemented, including the frame’s geometry and the fairing; the rear fairing has been shortened and modified based on the new 2012 S1000RR production design.
BMW Motorrad says: "The front fairing is slightly steeper compared to the 2011 bike in order to optimise the aerodynamics and riders’ ergonomics. A new radiator, adapted to the modified geometry and body parts, has been installed for better thermodynamics.
"The 2012 RR also features a new engine spec which improves rideability and low end torque. Additional efforts have been made for optimizing the weight balance and to improve ergonomics."
Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad S1000RR Superbike) says: "It was a positive test day. The new engine spec is a progress; you can feel a difference there. We now need to push more in that same direction. The main thing we were working on today was the chassis set up. The new bike needs to be set up a little bit differently than the 2011 one. I am confident in that area, too. Overall, I am glad to be back testing, looking for next year. We do not have to go out and race but can only focus on improving the bike. That is always good."
Bernard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director) says: "We were waiting for this day eagerly, as for the first time we went out on the track with both a new rider, Marco Melandri, and a new spec of our RR.
"We put a lot of work into the developing of this bike aiming to improve it in several areas. The feedback of both riders was exactly how we expected it to be. Overall, this was a very positive test and a confirmation of all the hard work of everybody in the team."
While the team was able the collect data for the 2012 World Superbike Championship, Melandri was also getting acquainted with riding the S1000RR and working with the new team.
BMW says the collected data will now be analyzed at the team’s facilities at Munich and Stephanskirchen for further development steps. In the next few weeks, the team will undergo additional testing for the upcoming WSBK championship, which begins at Phillip Island at Feb 26.