Munich/Milan - The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team is heading to the East of Europe where the second half of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship starts in Russia. The “Moscow Raceway” - located west of the Russian capital Moscow close to the city of Volokolamsk - will host the eighth round of the season this weekend (19th to 21st July). In the Manufacturers’ classification, BMW is currently third with 237 points. In the Riders’ classification, factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR) are lying in fourth and fifth respectively. Marco has collected 182 points so far with his BMW S 1000 RR while Chaz has 154 points.
Moscow from the rider’s point of view:
“During the Dorna test in Imola we tried some new setting solutions which worked quite well. On a different track of course we have to restart working on the set up but we will not start completely from the scratch.
The Superbike World Championship made its debut in Moscow last year. It was a very good debut and I also had lots of fun. The track is pretty flowing; you never brake or accelerate hard. You need to let the bike go as fast as possible into the corner. I don’t expect any gifts but I’m confident that we’ll have good races and that we could be among the protagonists.”
“I like the Moscow circuit. It is quite interesting and I think it is quite different to what people had expected. It is a small track and physically very demanding. In the first part, you get zero rest until the long straight before the last corner so you have got pretty physical work over most of the lap. The first part is also very technical, especially the section from the very long right-hander turn 3, when it comes back uphill and goes into a double apex left turn. There the line is pretty important as it is all connected.
I enjoyed racing there last year. It was a good weekend for me. In race one, I fast and catching the leader but then I had a gearbox problem, so I think I could have won. In the second race I finished third on the podium, though I have to say that I was a bit lucky as two competitors in front of me crashed. This year as usual it will be important to find a good set-up in the first practice on which to build on over the weekend. Overall I am looking forward to it and I hope that the little things that we found on Imola’s Monday test will help us in Russia.”
Moscow from a sporting point of view:
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“The test day after the races in Imola was really useful to prepare for the coming rounds. In the four hours track time available we tried many different solutions which worked well and which our riders liked, even if in two hours of testing each in the morning and in the afternoon we could not try everything. Marco and Chaz were satisfied with the test and are confident for next races.
Moscow also marks the halfway point of the season, which is particularly long and challenging. For this reason we are continuing to work hard for next races. Marco, last year, did a very good job in Moscow. He really likes this track and it suits very well to his riding style. Chaz was also on the podium last year, showing how much he likes this track. The track is technical in the first part, with a long straight in the second part, where we could take advantage with our BMW powerful engine. The characteristics of the track suit quite well with our RR. We’re confident that we’ll have a positive weekend.”
Moscow from a technical point of view:
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“We are all looking forward to the Russian event which not only is important for the championship but also for the motorsport in general. It is nice to visit the ‘Moscow Raceway’ and Russia for the second time and it is essential for the Superbike World Championship and for the motorsport to expand its borders. Last year even if we got a very good result on this new race track it has been a difficult race weekend for the crews as we started without any data and reference. This year we expect to be better prepared, counting on the data gathered in 2012.
The race track needs good handling for the tight sections but as well braking stability for the turn after the over 900 m long straight. On this straight, the engine performance is important not only regarding top speed but mainly for acceleration. Both riders had adapted very well to the track in 2012, being together on the podium in race 2. Our RR will receive small updates for the chassis, the engine and the electronic as result of the last Imola test. So we are confident to start the second half of the season well prepared.”
Moscow from Pirelli’s point of view:
For Pirelli, the “Moscow Raceway” is still quite a new track with not as much data available as for other circuits. In 2012, World Superbikes raced at the end of August and the asphalt was almost immaculate with absolutely no grip. With works still in progress around the track it had initially brought a lot of sand onto the asphalt causing some problems with wear to the tyres during the tests and free practice sessions. This year the circuit is finally finished and they ran different competitions so the asphalt should be more rubberized, however, there remains the unpredictable weather that could play an important role. In 2013, the date has in fact been brought forward a month, but it is not known how the temperatures will be.
The riders in the Superbike class will have three slick solutions available for the front and as many for the rear, joined as always by the rear qualifiers, the intermediate solutions and the wet tyres. On the front, as for every round raced this year, Pirelli brings the standard SC1 solution (R426) in a soft compound – ideal for low external temperatures and/or medium harsh tracks, as well as the standard SC2 (R982), also brought to all the 2013 rounds and excellent for high external temperatures because it guarantees a solid tread strip. The third slick alternative available to the Superbike riders for the front is the R753, a development solution in SC2 compound, an alternative to the standard SC2 which tends to be sturdier and therefore more resistant to aggressive asphalt.
For the rear the riders will find the new development solution R1431 in SC1 compound which has been brought for the first time to Imola and which was designed with the goal of providing higher tear resistance but equal grip compared to the standard SC1. Another alternative with same SC1 compound is the S513, a new development solution in medium compound already seen at Monza using the same compound of standard SC1 but with reinforced central section. Last slick option is the R1300, a medium-hard development solution brought only to Phillip Island and Donington which provides better wear resistance than the standard SC1 and more grip than the standard SC2.
The “Moscow Raceway” is located about 80 kilometres to the west of the Russian capital Moscow, close to the city of Volokolamsk. In the middle of the sweeping landscape, right next to the motorway to Riga, stands an ultra-modern facility with a four-kilometre racetrack and generous pit and function buildings boasting a full array of the latest equipment. The grandstands hold up to 30,000 spectators, although the capacity can also be increased if necessary. The architect responsible for this circuit is German expert Hermann Tilke. The “Moscow Raceway” was opened in July 2012 and the Superbike World Championship made its Russian debut at the end of August that same year, making it the first world championship to stage one of its races at the circuit.
The “Moscow Raceway” blends into the surrounding landscape with a number of up and downhill sections. Most riders are in agreement: the circuit is fun to ride. In general, however, it is a slow, very technical and physical track. It has a lot of different corners in quite a small space, the majority of them are taken in first or second gear. The riders don’t get to rest for the first one and a half minutes of a lap – they go from one corner immediately to the next.
The riders can only really open the throttle in the final third of the circuit which features a nearly one kilometre long straight. Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies will be able to fully exploit the power of their BMW engines here. The end of this straight and the first corner after the start/finish straight offer good overtaking opportunities.