BMW Continues Changes in WSBK Team Structure

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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.