BMW Motorrad Terminates World Superbike Commitment

BMW Motorrad GoldBet's Marco Melandri
BMW Motorrad GoldBet's Marco Melandri
BMW Motorrad GoldBet’s Marco Melandri

BMW to Pull Factory Efforts From World Superbike

As part of its long-term “strategic realignment” of the brand, BMW Motorrad  will shift emphasis in its motorsport’s activities. BMW reported Wednesday it would terminate its factory involvement in the World Superbike Championship following the 2013 season.

BMW reports as the brand is restructured, the main focus and some resources from the BMW Motorrad World Superbike team will focus on other motorsport activities, such as the international customer sports program

Stephan Schaller (General Director, BMW Motorrad) says: “BMW Motorrad Motorsport will end its involvement in the World Superbike Championship after this season.

This is consistent with the strategic realignment of our brand. BMW Motorrad will now focus on the further expansion of the very successful product portfolio over 500 cc, the expansion of product segments under 500 cc, e-mobility and the development of market potential in emerging economies like Brazil and Asia.

“Only those who act consistently today are well prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. BMW Motorrad will remain involved in motorsport and in doing so we will focus on the international customer sport in all its facets. I want to thank everybody who has supported us on this long and successful journey.”

Andrea Buzzoni (General Manager BMW Motorrad World SBK) says: “The team is a very professional and motivated group of people and I am sure they will continue to do everything to end the season on a high note.

“Twenty thirteen is a good year, the atmosphere within the team is great and also our riders, Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies, are doing an excellent job. We are satisfied with the current results and, of course, we will keep working hard. Therefore I am convinced we can celebrate more successes with Marco and Chaz as the season goes on. I am sorry about the decision, but I understand the strategic decision making of the company. I want to thank all the people who are involved in this project.”

BMW Motorrad Motorsport has run a successful worldwide customer sport program for several years. From the beginning, customer teams and riders have celebrated numerous victories and titles in international and national championships with the BMW S 1000 RR.

From the start of this season, some of them have also fielded the brand new DDC equipped BMW HP4, and celebrated several race wins. Details of the increased future commitment in customer sport will be announced in due course.

BMW Motorrad Motorsport entered the FIM Superbike World Championship in 2009. After a learning phase, it has established itself of a winning team in this highly contested series. To date, the German manufacturer has celebrated 11 race wins and a total of 33 podium finishes with the race version of the BMW S 1000 RR. The most successful season so far was 2012, when BMW finished runner-up in the manufacturers’ classification and fought for both the manufacturers’ and the riders’ titles until the very last race.

Since 2011, two major manufacturers pulled out of World Superbike – Ducati and Yamaha. Ducati was a shock,considering the Italian manufacturer  had virtually owned the series since its inception in 1988. Ducati terminated its factory efforts for the 2011 season, though it continued to supply bikes and parts to satellite teams. And that year Ducati rider Carlos Checa took the World SBK title, giving the manufacturer its 14th WSBK title.

Yamaha pulled factory efforts at the end of 2011, leaving Melandri and Eugene Laverty without a ride. Melandri, ironically, joined the BMW squad; Laverty went to Aprilia. Yamaha won a single title in World Superbike in 2010 with the American Ben Spies at the controls of the YZF-R1.