BMW Continues Changes in WSBK Team Structure

12/18/2010 @ 7:26 pm, by Victoria Reid11 COMMENTS

After rumored and real strife at the end of the WSBK season, BMW Motorrad continues to rearrange their team structure. The team, according to a recent press release, has continued on with the restructuring. BMW Motorrad Motorsport announced Thursday that Rainer Bäumel is the new Head of Race Operations, after being the Technical Director, with Stephan Fischer Head of Development, and Josef Hofmann the Managing Director of the factory.  After leaving Ducati at the end of the 2009 season and signing on as team manager for BMW for the 2010 season and producing something a turnaround for the team, Davide Tardozzi either left or was forced out due to “different ideas regarding the structure of the team,” leaving Bernhard Gobmeier to named as BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director in October.

According to Gobmeier, Thursday’s announcement might just be the end of the restructuring, “In filling these three key positions we are concluding the restructuring of the team management.” He also noted that this “new formation is leaner and the division of labour more clearly delineated,” which is either a statement of the obvious or a bit of a slap to Tardozzi’s management style, since “All three report directly to…Gobmeier.”

Bäumel’s position looks to be Team Manager with a fancier title, at least according to Gobmeier’s explanation that he “will now control trackside operations and take responsibility for the deployment of the race team.” This announcement also suggests that the team had made good on the rumors circulating at the end of the 2010 season that a clear-out of non-German staff was occurring and that things would soon be settled, at least in the management of the team, with a far heavier German influence.

Meanwhile, according to Gobmeier, “Head of Development Stephan Fischer will be in charge of further development of the BMW S1000RR. This brings with it a much closer interlocking with colleagues in series production development than was previously the case. Josef Hofmann, as Managing Director of alpha Racing, will head up the factory in Stephanskirchen and take care of logistics, personnel and finance.”

With the WSBK season beginning again in just over two months’ time, BMW Motorrad has their work cut out to show that this restructuring has worked for the best. Troy Corser will again race for the team in 2011, with Leon Haslam having replaced Ruben Xaus. They will be testing in Eastern Creek, Australia at the end of January before an early February two day test at Philip Island and participation in the official WSBK test at Philip Island just days before the season kicks off there, with the first race of the season February 27, 2011.

Source: Roadracing World

  • Craig

    You have your riders back to front…..

  • how so?
    Xaus is riding for Ten Kate in 2011 (taking Max Neukirchner’s 2009 seat as the German is off to Moto2), and Corser has replaced him. Haslam is staying with BMW.

  • Craig

    Your joking right,

    Corser is and has been BMW’s number 1 rider since its conception in Wsbk and Haslam is replacing Xaus for 2011… Its not hard …really!

  • no, you’re right…I am a monumental idiot sometimes and this is one of them.
    Thanks for catching that and calling me out on it. If you look above, you’ll notice I’ve fixed it. Many apologies, and I’ve no excuse other than not thinking. at all.

  • Craig

    Its all good, im just a bit grumpy as im still hungover from last night….Hahahaha

  • bruce armstrong

    Germans and Italians not getting along! Who’d a’ guessed it? BMW has to win a race or three this year……the development year is done, the consolidation year is done and now it’s time to get on top of the box, expecially given how little new stuff their rivals have thrown at them. Bruce

  • Pingback: Barry Russell()

  • Jim

    The smiley faces are off and even BMW’s biggest fanboys are admitting that if the WSBK effort doesn’t produce results soon, it will begin to draw comparisons to Harley’s AMA superbike effort or perhaps closer to Berlin, BMW’s own F1 flailing.

    Speaking of which, the F1 team was dumped before the 2010 season and now BMW is withdrawing from the European touring car series. This retrenchment could be a prelude to shutting down the WSBK effort if it doesn’t produce this year.

  • Willie

    I still don’t understand the strategy. The BMW auto experience should have informed on the myopic philosophy of being in all markets while diluting your ownership of strong segments. Remember the X5 ?

    The affluent segment is the most fickle of any while also offering very limited growth. Especially now. Among those of you ready to buy the best of machines, which is more appealing: Any Italian or the 4 cylinder BMW ?

    I almost understand the new 6 cylinder. But the market perception of “The Ultimate” changes.

    Have to admire the Germans, though. They like a challenge. Even if its just for the sake of challenge.

  • Damo

    I am glad they are trying something, the 2010 was disappointing to say the least.

    If John Rea stays healthy and with the strong team Aprilia is fielding next season, I think it will be another Honda/Aprilia show next year.

  • SBPilot

    @ Jim. BMW is pulling out of a factory effort in WTCC to put in a full factory effort in DTM, which is quite a bit more challenging and resources costing than WTCC. The cars in DTM are exponentially quicker and more complicated.

    BMW has had a great accomplishments in touring cars the past year. With the M3 they won the constructors in American Le Mans in just their second season, and won the 24 Nurburgring out right the in the First year competing in it with the Schnitzer M3 Team. If BMW continues this prgoress in the new year (winning drivers and constructors), and does well in DTM, it will almost be like the E30 days of dominance. BMW proved itself in WTCC already winning multiple championships.

    I am a bit confused with the management shuffling of BMW in WSBK. I agree BMW in ’11 will be expected to start winning races. Hopefully all those S1000RR sales in ’10 will contribute to some investment in their WSBK program! haha. Wasn’t a Haslam fan but, go Haslam and Corser!