The countdown to the 2019 season in the FIM World Superbike Championship (WorldSBK) has started: the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team has completed a successful first test with the new BMW S 1000 RR in Almeria, Spain. Together with riders Tom Sykes (GBR) and Markus Reiterberger (GER), the BMW Motorrad Motorsport engineers and the team gathered valuable information for further development of the new race bike.
Sykes and Reiterberger had taken to the track with the Superstock version of the new RR at the end of November, in Miramas (FRA). The riders provided feedback about the ergonomics and their change requests regarding the handlebars, levers, footrests, seat, tank, windshield and instrument displays were then implemented in Munich.
At the same time, the first components developed specially for the WorldSBK, such as brakes and suspension elements, were used in Almeria. Both riders were able to complete a comprehensive programme of testing over two days without any problems. They developed a basis setup that will form the foundation for further work at the next tests in Jerez de la Frontera (ESP).
BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the team also used the two test days in Almeria to get used to one another in the new team configuration.
Reactions to the tests in Almeria.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “The objective of the testing in Almeria was a shakedown with the superbike. On the one hand, we were able to evaluate the modifications regarding the ergonomics and we have seen that both riders have a lot of confidence in the bike. We were also able to test the newly-developed WorldSBK components and we can see that we are moving in the right direction. We have gathered important experience for the next tests and we know what work we still have to do. Of course, after two days of testing the bike is still pretty much in its infancy but we are very pleased with the basics of the motorbike and with what the team has achieved in the last few months. At the next test in Jerez, we will encounter our competitors for the first time and will be able to see exactly where we stand. We are looking forward to this but we would also like to concentrate solely on our own tasks and will not get distracted by the competition.”
Shaun Muir, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team principal: “First of all, it was great to finally get the team together. We had two days at the circuit before the test, getting final material together, meeting and greeting and getting an understanding for the requirements of the test. The two days on the circuit proved to be very positive, too. Both riders did almost 100 laps each over the two days without any major issues. We worked our way through a very detailed test schedule. The key points for me were that the team are working together very well and that the comprehensive test of parts and material went very positively. We have a good base-setting for both riders and a good direction to go to Jerez. So overall we are very happy.”
Tom Sykes: “I am very happy with the test. Of course, it’s still early days and there is still a lot of things to come our way but like this I was very happy with my feeling for my BMW S 1000 RR. The general feedback was good. We certainly had two very productive days testing, we changed quite some parameters on the bike and really understood some key areas to work with. It was a very positive two-day test for me and I was really happy and quite impressed with the end result. It was the first time in that new environment, the whole team working with each other and the engineers from BMW Motorrad Motorsport. So it was a new experience for everybody and soon everybody was working together like a clockwork. So it seems that we are progressing very fast and I got a good feeling within the environment in the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team.”
Markus Reiterberger: “The focus was on completing a roll-out with the new bike and for me to get used to the team and my new crew. It is all new for me: the team, the working methods and the Superbike version of the motorbike. The first outing with the new bike went very well. I felt right at home with the seat position and the handlebars from the word go. Our comprehensive programme of tests included a lot of work on the chassis, electronics, geometry and a host of setting options. We wanted to try everything out and pass on our experience to BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the team to allow them to work on preparation for the next tests. We are still at an early stage and our focus was on the functional tests. It was important to gather as much information as possible for the work that is still to come. We are very pleased with what we have achieved thus far and we are getting on well as a team. We are all working towards making progress together.”