In just over two months, the Isle of Man TT get underway on the iconic 37.73-mile Snaefell Mountain Course. And as the 104th edition of the TT gets closer, new participants continue to emerge.
The latest is from the Italian motorcycle manufacturer Bimota, a company founded in 1973 by Valerio Bianchi Giuseppe Morri and the man known for designing iconic motorcycle such as the Ducati 916 and MV Agusta F4, Massimo Tamburini.
The Rimini-based manufacturer announced it will field two riders on its BMW S1000RR-powered BB3 – the UK’s Ben Wylie and America’s Brandon Cretu. Both riders will compete for the Bimota Factory Road Racing Team. Besides the TT, which is set for May 30 through June 30, Wylie and Cretu will also compete in other notable international road races, including the Northwest 200, the Ulster Grand Prix, and the Macau Grand Prix.
Wylie, part owner of the official UK Bimota dealership Amore Moto, is known on the British Supersport circuit, and was awarded TT Best Newcomer in 2009. Wylie will also be Team Manager of the Bimota Factory Road Racing Team.
“Constantine (Blias, part owner of Amore Moto) and myself are delighted to announce our two rider Bimota team for 2015. Bringing Brandon on board completes our vision for a full on attack on the International roads and puts everything in place for a solid season.
“I am confident we can get the best out of Brandon and having worked together before I feel we can really benefit and learn from each other’s experience. I’m looking forward to riding a bit more this year on a very competitive bike and getting myself back to where I know I should be, fighting for top 10 positions in all 3 big bike TT races.”
As for Cretu, who competed at the 2014 Isle of Man TT aboard Erik Buell Racing machinery, this will be the first year he will compete in all four major international road races.
“After I thought I wouldn’t be riding this year, to be able to work up a deal so quickly with Bimota and Ben is a dream come true. Ben and I have known each other since my first TT and I rate him, his family, and his racing program in the highest regard,” Cretu says.
“I can’t wait to begin testing with the team and bring not only my riding but also my experience in acquiring sponsors and managing team operations. I think the Bimota BB3 is going to allow me some of my best finishes ever. 2015 is going to be an outstanding year!”
Working with Team Alstare, Bimota entered into 2014 World Superbike with its BB3, a superbike created after the 40-year-old brand was purchased last year by Daniele Longoni and Marco Chiancianesi – native Italians living in Switzerland.
Racers Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon did well in the EVO class, taking multiple top-10 finishes. Iddon even placed the BB3 on the pole at Assen. But Bimota was disqualified due to not completing the mandatory 125 units requested by the FIM and Dorna for homologation (they completed 30 by early fall).
Bimota did not make an effort to enter 2015 World Superbike, and other racing plans were hush until this official announcement. Bimota’s entry into the TT is great news for not only Bimota fans, but American fans of international road racing.