BMW pass the WSBK torch to BMW Motorrad Italia

BMW Motorrad have announced they will not be running the factory World Superbike team next year, deciding to allow BMW Motorrad Italia (currently the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet team) to run it on their behalf. The engines will be prepared in Munich, along with the electronics, while the chassis will be handled by the Milanese outfit.

This cost-cutting consolidation means that Marco Melandri will be riding the BMW Italia machine in 2013, but his team mate is as yet unconfirmed.

The Press Release follows:

BMW Motorrad realigns motor sports activities: commitment to the Superbike World Championship 2013.

Munich, 16th July 2012. BMW Motorrad will also line up a factory team at the start of the FIM Superbike World Championship in 2013. At the same time, the company is carrying out a strategic realignment and pooling superbike activities.

BMW Motorrad Italia will take responsibility for the factory race and test team as well as for chassis development. BMW in Munich will be entirely responsible for developing the power train and electronics. This decision means that BMW Motorrad will continue to operate as a fully integrated team in the World Championship for near-production road motorcycles. Team name, team management positions and rider line-up for 2013 will be announced later.

Stephan Schaller, Head of BMW Motorrad, said: “Our decision represents a commitment by BMW Motorrad to motor sports. We have developed this commitment from a position of strength. The Superbike World Championship will continue to be the right platform for BMW Motorrad next year to demonstrate our expertise as a manufacturer of sports motorcycles in close proximity to customers. The new structure with the focus on one racing team is lean and efficient, the concept is targeted and logical. We are looking forward to being in a position to develop the existing structures in Munich and Milan.”

Schaller added: “At this point, I would like to express my thanks to Bernhard Gobmeier who successfully restructured BMW Motorrad Motorsport and achieved the first victories in the Superbike World Championship. I am confident that he and his team will have celebrated more victories by the end of the season. Naturally, our decision will also exert an influence on our partnership with alpha Racing. We have celebrated successes together and moved the team forward. We have a number of challenges ahead for the rest of the season and we will be working with alpha Racing to master them in a dedicated and professional approach.”

BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Bernhard Gobmeier: “This is a strategic corporate decision by BMW Motorrad. This step means that BMW Motorrad will continue to participate in motor sports at a professional level. During the current season, we have achieved the first victories for BMW Motorrad in the Superbike World Championship. I am confident that more victories will follow. We all wish Andrea Buzzoni and the new team every success in the new constellation.”

Andrea Buzzoni, Director of BMW Motorrad Italia, said: “Success in professional motor sports depends on perfect interplay of all the different factors – from the rider, through the team and technology, to the tyres. Furthermore, a sustainable business case is becoming increasingly important. BMW Motorrad has therefore decided to realign its activities in the World Championship. We would like to express our thanks for the confidence they have demonstrated and we look forward to performing our new function. The successes in this season show that the development work carried out has borne fruit. The BMW S 1000 RR is capable of achieving victories in the Superbike World Championship. This has been the achievement of Bernhard Gobmeier and his team. We will build on this platform in 2013.”


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In a obscene amount of money to their WSBK effort, and, lets be honest, not seen a whole lot of results. Reckon Leon will be looking for a new job. BMW's gonna be Badovini and Melandri innit really..

That press release read like it was drafted by a politician. What was he trying to say?.

After years of trying, they finally getting to the point where they are championship contenders. NOW they go back to the team that couldn't get them on the box?

"Our decision represents a commitment by BMW Motorrad to motor sports."

Which sport would that be?

I don't think the success of the BMW factory team in WSBK is tied to success of WSBK. You seem to be drawing the conclusion that it is. I could see WSBK wanting no factory teams next year only factory bikes. It's already about halfway there.

Lets hope that this opens them up to the possibility of going into GP. They need to be there and GP needs them to be there. As far as next years team, MM and Badovini. No doubt, any one with half a brain can see that the kid has talent and is up and coming. Checa, he'll be on the Duc next year. Even though he may want to go somewhere else. There is no where else to go for him. He's long in the tooth and doesn't have Biaggi's pedigree.

Does anyone know if BMW Motorrad Italia is wholly-owned by BMW, or is an independent company? I'm not sure how the answer to that affects how I feel about this announcement, but something tells me this is more significant if the Italian outfit is independent or partially independent.

As for BMW and MotoGP, there is certainly nothing more than idle speculation that this SBK move implies that BMW is interested in MotoGP. For that we must wait for something solid, IMO. Perhaps BMW will undertake a MotoGP "interesting adventure" at some point, perhaps not. Either way, I will NEVER trust that racing is deeply embedded in the DNA of BMW or any other German motor corporation. Look at how BMW screwed over F1. Look at how shallow the Mercedes commitment to F1 seems to be.

I'm not trying to single out German corporations, as most other major motor manufacturers are the same, but the deep passion of the Italians is very different. And I'm hoping I'm right to respect the racing DNA of Honda and Yamaha for the long term...?