If I had to forecast the results of the 2013 World Superbike Championship this very day, without seeing the teams grid up for their first race at Phillip Island, my money would be on the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team. The consolidation of the factory BMW Motorrad team and BMW Motorrad Italia team into one unit, the German brand has compiled all its racing resources into one stout package.
Retaining the formidable services of Marco Melandri, who was in the hunt for the 2012 WSBK title to the very end of the season despite injuries, BMW Motorrad’s number-two rider, Chaz Davies, is no slouch either. With both BMW-men showing the prowess of the WSBK-spec S1000RR earlier this year at Jerez, it was Melandri who topped the time sheets on the test’s dry second day. Sending a clear message of things to come this season.
While I still expect to see strong competition from Tom Sykes and the factory Kawasaki team, and I also don’t think you can count out the Aprilia riders or even Ducati’s Carlos Checa, there is however a tremendous amount of expectation, preparation, and money behind BMW’s World Superbike entry. This year I think we will finally see the team’s hard work payoff in the championship points.
“Motorsport will once again play a major role for BMW Motorrad this year,” said Stephan Schaller, President of BMW Motorrad. “With this strong position as a basis, we have realigned our works commitment for the coming season. I am more than confident that we can achieve our goals with the new structure, experienced team management, and works riders Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies. These goals are to firmly establish ourselves among the top teams at the pinnacle of production-based motorsport in the long term, and to claim as many wins and podiums as possible.”
“We are looking to follow on from the success BMW Motorrad achieved last season,” explained Andrea Buzzoni, General Manager BMW Motorrad WSBK. “The various parts in the restructured team became attuned to one another very quickly. Two very experienced teams, which have already shown in the past just how strong and professional they are, have merged into one team.”
“In order to be successful, however, you also need good riders and an outstanding bike – and we have them in the form of Marco, Chaz and the BMW S1000RR,” added Buzzoni. “Another important ‘ingredient’ is the speed. The speed, which is one of the most important factors on track, is also essential for the work of the team: to react and act fast is crucial to reach the target and to be competitive.”