In an effort to reduce costs and focus resources, BMW Motorrad announced today that it would be consolidating its World Superbike racing program for the 2013 Championship. Folding the factory BMW Motorrad team into the current BMW Italia squad, the Italain arm of the German company will run the WSBK program, developing the chassis, finding sponsors, and handling all race-related items, while Munich will develop the WSBK-spec BMW S1000RR’s powertrain and electronics package.
The deal means that BMW will be severing ties with alpha Racing, the group which has been responsible for the factory team’s racing program. While BMW hasn’t announced riders and team member for the consolidated squad, Marco Melandri is expected to stay onboard the BMW S1000RR, as the Italian rider signed a multi-year contract with BMW.
It is not clear at this time if Ayrton Badovini, Leon Haslam, and Michel Fabrizio will have to fight for the remaining seat(s), in the new factory BMW WSBK team or if other riders are also in contention for the position alongside Melandri.
Equally unknown is what this means for BMW’s overall motorcycle racing program, whose bikes we recently tested at Misano, as the German OEM has been linked to an interest in racing in the MotoGP Championship. Clever accountants could read this announcement as precursor in a shift of resources at BMW Motorrad from WSBK to MotoGP.
Source: BMW; Photo: © 2012 Rick Grayston – All Rights Reserved