Bother At BMW: Tardozzi Fired, Mechanics Threatening Strike

The BMW World Superbike squad has been in the news a lot recently, as the German team finalized their 2011 rider line-up, including the signing of 2010 WSBK title runner up Leon Haslam. But the German-language publication Speedweek has much less positive news about the BMW WSBK factory team, concerning the other side of their 2011 line-up. For Speedweek is reporting that BMW is having a clear-out of mechanics and management, ridding themselves of the non-German members of the WSBK crew.

Chief casualty is team manager Davide Tardozzi, who has reportedly been fired, and then banned from the BMW garage for the final round of World Superbikes at Magny-Cours this weekend. Rumors have been floating round the WSBK paddock for some time now that BMW were unhappy with Tardozzi, despite the Italian having been instrumental in improving the results for the German team. The remainder of the team is still under contract for the final race in France, but Speedweek is reporting that the non-German crew members are threatening to mutiny. They have yet to receive offers of a new contract for 2011, amidst complaints by BMW that the non-Germans are not present at team HQ often enough, the team also threatening not to pay their outstanding salary over the issue.

This has not gone down well, and a strike may be brewing in the BMW garage. Several mechanics could refuse to work unless they are paid in full, and with the WSBK season finale happening this weekend, there is little time to resolve the situation. If part of the crew do go on strike, it is uncertain what Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus would do, but the riders may not feel comfortable riding without the crew they have grown to trust in their garages. Whether this is a storm in a teacup or a deadly hurricane threatening the team, we shall see on Friday, when practice gets underway.

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Davide Tardozzi is now free to join? Sterilgarda Yamaha? or a "satelite" Ducati squad there were rumours prior to this werent they?

someone get that man a real team... first that awful support from suzuki and now infighting at BMW before he even arrives???

he's one of the most talented riders in WSBK...

David, any real reasons for the firing floating around? I find it somewhat hard to swallow that BMW would fire him like this just to get some Germans in there. I can see them wanting an all German crew, but firing him and banning him from the garage seems excessive in the extreme. I wonder what Haslam is thinking? I'm willing to bet working with Tardozzi was a big factor in his moving to BMW, as well as the factory support.

Now that is a big surprise.

Well - this will all make for a very interesting weekend...

.... Michael Bartholemy was running the BMP Elf 99 team at Bol dOr, is there a chance that BMW might try and snatch him from MarcVDS racing ?

I hope not for Scott Reddings sake.

I know endurance racing is different from WSB racing, but a good manager can manage in all types of racing teams.
He got better results with the "Hi Karate" then Kawasaki did after all.

Just a thought.

My personal feeling is the importance of personnel in a race team runs in decending order from the rider, through crew chief, technicians down to the suited and booted. I mean come on what does a team manager actually do? A bit of logistics, personnel appointments and articulating requirements back to the factory. Big deal.

As long as BMW as a factory remain committed to advancing their WSBK programme then Tardozzi being there or not is irrelevant.

As for the threatened technical team strike, well the season is done and dusted anyway. Grease monkeys and technical boffins are comparatively dime a dozen against top class riders.

... but it's a difficult thing to put in a test tube, shake it up, and get a definitive result.

But if BMW don't take another step forward next year, then there are some serious cuckoo's at the very top of BMW operation.

My sentiments exactly Nostradamus. Storm in a tea cup. It will be very interesting to see how this all plays out. Tardozzi will be in the SBK mix for sure next year...running a privateer Ducati squad with Carlos and JT possible.
Let's face it,he was a great racer,manager and although there is no love lost between him and Rossi,Ducati may be forced to hedge their bets and save face by assisting a decent privateer team in SBK.Rossi doing a 2004 GP job again is a scetchy mile at best.