Munich/Milan, 9th September 2013. The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team is entering uncharted territory: this weekend (13th to 15th September), the FIM Superbike World Championship makes its debut in Turkey. The “Intercity Istanbul Park” will host the eleventh round of the 2013 season. As it is a new track in the calendar and there has been no pre-event testing on the circuit, this weekend’s schedule has been slightly changed in order to give the riders and teams more track time to get familiar with the layout. Friday’s first free practice will be extended to 90 instead of 45 minutes.
Although the Superbike World Championship is visiting Turkey for the first time, the two BMW factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR) have raced there before with the MotoGP and the 250cc World Championship respectively. Marco especially has very fond memories of Istanbul as he won two of the three Turkish Grands Prix held at the venue. In 2005, he celebrated his first ever MotoGP victory at Istanbul, a success he repeated the following year.
Istanbul from the rider’s point of view:
“I have very good memories of the Istanbul circuit. I raced there in MotoGP and I celebrated my first victory in that series in Istanbul against very strong competitors. I really like the track and I know it very well. This means that everybody will keep their attention on me. I hope that we will have a good race. For sure I want to achieve a strong result and make up the bad luck I had in the last races. The championship is still completely open and plenty of points are still available. I will keep on riding race by race with the clear target to win as much as possible and I am quite confident for the next rounds.”
“I have raced at Istanbul before, although it was with a 250cc machine which is completely different to a 1000cc BMW Superbike. In addition, I expect that the conditions of the circuit have changed in the seven years since I was last there. But I have good memories of Istanbul, as I was quite fast there on a 250cc bike and I am sure it will be a good track for me now too. I will use the first 40 minutes of the opening session to get familiar with the track again. The results at Nürburgring are a real boost for the next races. We needed that and it was what we had the potential for already at Moscow and Silverstone, so it was nice to actually finish the job at Nürburgring. At this point of the season, the championship still isn’t impossible and to finish within the top 3 is more realistic now so it is nice to get these results at this important time of the year. My target for Istanbul is to repeat what we did at the Nürburgring.”
Istanbul from a sporting point of view:
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“The results from our home race at Nürburgring were really positive and they brought us closer and closer to the top of the rankings. We are now heading to the next round at Istanbul in a positive mood and feeling quite confident. The team in Munich and in Italy continues to work hard and is fully focused on the championship. Our target is to reach the best possible result this season.
“Our riders really like the Istanbul track. Marco came here for the first time when he was in MotoGP and won twice. Chaz raced here in the 250cc World Championship. It is a fantastic track and we are confident that we will achieve satisfying results. The next weeks will be tough. From Turkey we will leave for the US, where we will race at Laguna Seca. Then we will directly return to Europe for the French round at Magny-Cours. The team and the riders are ready for this challenging time and look forward to further strong results.”