Bmw’s chance at the WSB championship

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  WILL GUYAN 9 years, 6 months ago.

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    WSBK really is the best racing of any sort today! Super competitive!
    Max put on the school 1st & 2nd race. Team BMW seemed to make a poor tire choice.(DVR here, working) 2nd race Leon making a real go of it. Badovini really showing a great effort!



    Well, the Naysayers are probably ignorant of the facts, but BMW’s Marco Melandri won BOTH World SuperBike races at Brno. The first race was a barn burner. It’s a Must See. Thanks to SPEED for allocating precious NASCAR time to WSBK! The S1000RR is dialled in, obviously, at least Marco’s bike is. I saw him also win at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, and take a podium in the first race there. BMW and Aprilia are head to head in the series. I knew BMW would achieve success, and they did it in record time. It only took 4 years of hard-fought development and several rider changes. Sehr Gut to Motorrad for staying the course.

    Now for the sad news: next year BMW Motorrad will not field a superbike team. They’ve decided in their Germanic inimitable style to “allow” BMW Italia to run ONE race team, and Motorrad (Germany) will develop the engine and electronics only. Italia is responsible for everything else, including garnering sponsorship.
    That means two riders (and probably three…) will be “out” and Melandri and his super hot girlfriend, seen on the recent OTL cover photo, will remain. Who will the second rider be? RUMORS say it very well could be none other than Ben Spies, from the Lone Star state! I was hoping it’d be Nicky Hayden, but Ducati just said they’d retain him for another year, 2013.

    The politics of racing is as much of a black swamp as the politics in Washington (or London!) Some riders get better “parts” than riders on the same team. Fair? What’s the point of commenting when the secrets are always kept “in-house” and we the fans are left to speculate. Still, OTL, that little, colorful, annoying magazine read by a few hundred die hard zealots and the elite of American BMW intelligentsia, predicted this very thing all along. Yes, the BMW superbike is that good.

    I had nothing but fun at the rally, except for that annoying lack of oxygen at ten thousand feet…



    Ben Spies will leave Yamaha MotoGP to join WSBK and BMW in 2013 as the new team mate for Marco Melandri. Stay tuned, things will get way more interesting.



    [QUOTE=Kevin313 »] the superior electronics will certainly help mere mortals ride a potent Superbike. But the laws of Physics have not been suspended. One can certainly end up in touble with too enthusiastic a throttle hand.[/QUOTE]

    It seems that the electronics are superb, but it’s still quite possible to lose the front; we saw this a couple of times already. In skilled hands, the street bike is superb. I’m not sure I’d like one on the street, where its potential is wasted and clip ons have you reaching for ibuprofen!

    1,000 bikes had to be produced by January to fulfill homologation rules. They are 2010 machines. Will the bike evolve for ’11? Of course.
    The first foray at Philip Island saw Xaus crash 4 times, searching for traction and stability, and break his collarbone. Resch was also out, leaving Corser and Pitt. Troy had a good weekend, beating the RSV4 Aprilia (one of Motorrad’s goals for ’10). The bike is still giving them problems handling less than smooth tracks. They’re committed to staying with it and we’ll see better results than last year, I predict. But the machines they’re racing against are fully developed over many seasons already.

    The dealers are now complaining about availability of the homologation-mandated street bikes; one highly proven California shop will only get six bikes this year. Have they not stepped up production to take advantage of all that free praise they’ve gotten world wide? Have they diverted US-destined RR’s for Euro delivery? Mere mortals are not privy to BMW’s inner sanctum, but we can read between the lines.
    The bikes should be readily available now, but we’re told if you order now, expect delivery late in the summer. What gives? It seems the laws of economics are as devastating as the laws of physics! Strike while the iron is hot, BMW.

    Privateers will rule in US racing, BMW-wise. I doubt BMW USA would step up even if Iron Horse/ESP/Peris win at Fontana. Did you see Nate Kern running right up there with the AMA fast guys (including Hopkins) at Daytona, when the big boys were getting extra seat time in some of the support classes? Nate was stoked, until he ran out of gas! That’s due to his support mostly being volunteers; they deserve kudos, but a pro crew chief wouldn’t have let that happen. The organization in the US makes me think we’re a third world market. Maybe we are, given what you see when you ride cross country – Harleys and Gold Wings!

    Corser will surprise us all, if he can stay off the asphalt. Riding on the edge of physics has its dangers, as we all know. This WSB effort is an evolution of late comer BMW catching up, and they will as long as they stick to it. The WSB machines are every bit as potent and as highly developed as anything BMW can bring to the joust. Experience is everything. Enjoy the spectacle!



    [QUOTE=Dutch »]I just read in the latest issue of the OTL that BMW does plan on competing in the AMA superbike series next year (could they mean THIS year?) This could be interesting. With Spies and Mladin both gone, does this leave the series wide open, and will the Beemer make the cut? Almost wish I had Speed vision just for the bike race’s.[/QUOTE]

    The problem with the magazine scene is that the goofy editor doesn’t always remember the lag time from written word to printed word. He meant 2011, as far as we can understand BMW’s current plans. No AMA support for 2010, according to boss Andersen. What will happen in the USA in ’11 is anyone’s guess at this point. How well will the RR sell, and what will be the availability in 2010? Hard questions, indeed. If I want a superbike now, and I have to wait for July to get the holy grail BMW RR, I’m going for instant gratification and would buy the Fireblade, sorry to say. Did all the incredible press catch BMW’s production teams off guard? Uh huh. Yep.

    As far as missing Spies, yes! Both WSB Yamahas crashed out in the first race! It was mayhem. Two BMW’s did crash prior to the races, but Corser did well, and Pitt finished unscathed. Xaus and Resch were sidelined.

    If you’re not enjoying SPEED, you’re missing out on some fine spectating that’d cost you dearly if you were at the track! It’s worth the cost to die hard race fans! I get mine via satellite, since I live far from the conveniences available to urban/developed areas. Also, HD Theater channel will run the IOM TT and way more, using the most sophisticated photography ever seen: stop action and ultra slow videos showing the deformation of the tires, the action of the fork and more during the actual racing, close up. Never seen anything like it before.

    Also, HD Theater has featured several excellent shows on BMW, Suzuki, Kawasaki and MV Agusta. Seeing the factories at work is amazing!
    This hi def world is worth the price of admission, if you can swing it. The motorcycle race coverage for WSB, AMA, IOM, and Supercross is amazing.



    Hi Adam: I guess I should have read THIS post first huh? I was unaware that BMW was talking about ’11. Bummer!! As far as SPEED channel goes, your right, some of the racing coverage IS great. Unfortunately, far too much is devoted to NASCAR. Around here, the local cable providers will rake you over the coals to the tune of @90.00 a month just for the”privilege” of watching. I’m too cheap (they don’t call me “dutch” for nothing!) to fork over that kind of money each month for 150+ channels when I would only watch 6 or seven… Not worth the money in my opinion. Vaya con Dios, Dutch



    Hey all: Well this season hasn’t gone quite like we hope, has it? While the team has had several good race’s,they didn’t win any where, and only podiumed once or twice. Privateers have been racing the BMW in several class’s around the country and doing well. Hopefully that will be the push that the corporate offices need to make a full time commitment to AMA racing. It’s likely going to be a tough year in ’11, as Kawasaki has a new liter bike that is going to be really good, and the Suzuki’s will be fast again. Like the old saying goes; wait to next year!! Vaya con Dios, Dutch



    So if BMW has a similar season next year how long do they keep the race program? Do they stick it out or fold their tent like in F1? Or phrased differently, How good of a season do they need to stay in?



    I believe The speed Channel is owned by the Daytona group (who owns Nascar). So you can see why there is Nascar 24/7. It’s strange I love most kinds of motossports, but just can’t get into the most popular motorsport in the US, it is so boring to me. Also since it’s a “stock” class based on cars you can’t purchase, It doesn’t even offer the world anything but the race.



    I think they’ll do better if they really commit to it, and I do think they committed to it last year. That was a lot of work; it makes no sense to go out there with nothing less than a 100% effort. So I think next year will be good. Granted there are many other experienced teams with them on the grid, and they don’t stand still over the winter.

    What I don’t fully understand (maybe Will can comment on this as the season goes on) is how the homologation requirements affect the race bike. The bike they race in 2009 is linked to the bike they sell in 2010, and 2010 is here. What will be on the showroom floors in 2011?



    Anton: The “local” BMW shop just announced that they now have the new superbike on the floor. I haven’t had a chance to look at it, as the “local” dealer is almost 90 miles away, but if they are selling it as an’11, I’d think that the bike will be basically unchanged for the next year. After all, it’s already the most advanced bike in the WSB arena, and even BMW’s deep pockets won’t allow many updates on a “new” model. I speak out of complete ignorance, as I have no Idea what the WSB homologation requirements are. I believe that the AMA required something like 200 production bikes to be built in order to make the racers legal. I hope that BMW can return next year, as they seem to have most of the bugs sorted out of the bike, and both riders should be healthy. If they are: 1) willing to give commit 100% to the team, and 2) be patient, they will be much improved. It would be great to see them on a couple of podiums this year!! I wonder if they will ever make there presence known in the Americansuperbike racing scene? Vaya con Dios, Dutch



    [QUOTE=Dutch »].. I wonder if they will ever make there presence known in the Americansuperbike racing scene?[/QUOTE]

    I think that gets interesting. If they don’t, privateers will. Does BMW want to be represented only by privateers? They might:
    – create factory support for privateers
    – think they need to run the show themselves if they want good results
    – sit on their hands and see if the market adopts their product <- unlikely IMO



    Anton: I agree completely. This bike specs out WAY too good for someone not to be thinking it would be competative. The way I see it, does BMW have the pockets for BOth WSB, and,What do they call it now? Daytona superbike? I’m sure that there are dealers around the country capable of fielding a team, but can they support them and WSB. I hope so, as the American series could use a shot in the arm. Vaya con Dios, Dutch



    The bike is already competitive; with no previous track data, they have posted excellent returns in their first year, up against the tide of experience. They have out-done the Japanese superbike builders in their first true superbike. Never before have we seen such free press from all round the planet for a newly-created top-of-class superbike. Never before have we seen such a hyper road rocket prevent by virtue of its electronics the spitting-off of lead-fisted Euro daredevils at the helter skelter debuts like recently in Portimao. Never before.

    What did you expect from BMW, builder of fantastic M class cars and Formula 1 unobtainium? People love to bash the Bavarian wizards because some of their exploits have left us with less than a stellar impression. But what’s the point when they have achieved this in their first iteration? Read this: BMW have created the first superbike in the world that actually will let you play cornering god and get you home again in one piece! Read it again. I have seen hairballs destroy liter class clip-on clad machinery with an unhandy right wrist. Bravo BMW. This is the coolest thing to happen to the market since the GS series. Think they’ll sell? Better mused this way: think BMW will be able to build them fast enough? Bravo.

    1,000 bikes make a WSB homologation requirement. The street bike is so far beyond just about anybody’s skill level that it has captured the adoration of all the Euro press and now the US (cover story and photo in the latest Road Racing World). Yes, the WSB machinery contains lots of special componentry not seen on the street bike. But these machines are vying for 1 1/000th of a second advantage on the track. The first season was expected to be a roller coaster ride, and I’ll tell you BMW achieved a far better result than I imagined, or they even imagined.

    This season we will see KTM pay $1,000 cash money to any privateers winning with the RC8, and they pay for the top 5 places as well. BMW will step up and do the same thing, I predict, but who knows when. The company is massive. Committees are always cooking up something new. In 2005 they first put this bike on paper, and in 2009 we saw it run with our own eyes at Miller WSB. They already know the market will flock to this product. I’ll be riding one in Florida in early February. I’ll report from my perspective.

    Nate Kern already told us in On The Level that “you just have to close one eye and trust the bike, because it will get you through the corners, every time”. Hate technology? Lots apparently do.
    But high tech is the future, like it or not. The 2010 WSB season will sport two BMW S1000RR race teams. BMW will not drop this project unless the bottom falls out completely in this terrible market; but BMW has come out of 2009 better than any other manufacturer, and in this crappy downturn has deigned to give us lucky riders DOHC Boxers while other companies aren’t even importing their superbikes into the US in ’10. Stay tuned, this is really interesting.

    And, we’ll see them in competition in the US by privateers, as long as AMA can get their dumb rules worked out. The jury is still out on that one. Just ask Matt Mladin.



    Now that the season is over, and the points are being tallied up, it seems that BMW has something of a problem; What happens NEXT year… It would have been great (not realistic, but great) if BMW had scored a couple of wins, but they didn’t. If my somewhat fragile memory doesn’t fail me, their best finish was something like a fifth. This is to be expected, being a new team with a new bike, but next year, greater things will be expected of them… Will the weak economy and the soft motorcycle market allow the factory to properly support a two bike team? I hope so, as the bike has shown some real promise, stay tuned for the future!! Vaya con Dios, Dutch

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