BMW Motorrad Goldbet SBK’s Chaz Davies had some homework ahead of this weekend’s World Superbike round in Monza, as the Welshman spent time in BMW’s high-speed wind tunnel to work on his aerodynamics with the BMW S1000RR. With Monza being one of the fastest courses on the WSBK calendar, a rider’s ability to have the optimal body position down the the track’s long sections, where speeds can easily exceed 200 mph, is a crucial element to race-day success.
“It was a really interesting afternoon”, said Davies. “When testing on a track, you try new development parts and different settings but you are not working on your body. So it was great to experience in a stable environment with my riding position, to move myself around on the bike, to have elbows and shoulders in different positions and to then see in the data what difference it makes.
“I have learnt that I have to try and get myself inside the bike sooner on the exit of the corner in order to reduce the drag and be faster on the straights. It was good to see what difference that will make if we can improve that for the next race. Especially on a track like Monza, the aerodynamic efficiency is very important because every lap we are wide open for much longer than any other circuit on the calendar.”
“The riding position is a main factor for the aerodynamic efficiency of the overall package of rider and bike”, said Stephan Fischer, the Technical Director of BMW Motorrad Motorsport. “The positions of the head and the upper body, of elbows, knees and feet can have an enormous influence on the drag, and subsequently on lap times. This goes in particular at a race track like Monza with its long and ultra fast straights.”
“Of course, there is not one position that is the optimum for all riders, because it all depends on so many different individual factors, beginning with height and stature. The intensive work in the wind tunnel enabled Chaz to find out what riding position is the best for him personally. We did the same with Marco [Melandri] last year and it helped him a lot to achieve improved aerodynamic efficiency on his RR. We are convinced that we now will have a similar positive result with Chaz.”
Source: BMW Group