Munich/Milan - Final push for the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team: the squad and factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR) are preparing for the 2013 season finale of the FIM Superbike World Championship. The last races of the year will be held this weekend (18th to 20th October) at the “Circuito de Jerez” in Southern Spain.

Marco Melandri
Marco Melandri

Photo by: Dave Dyer

This will also mark the final round of the factory involvement of BMW Motorrad in the Superbike World Championship. According to its strategic realignment, the German manufacturer will withdraw from the series and focus on its extended international customer sports programme from 2014.

For the Jerez round, Marco and Chaz will have company. The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team will enter a third BMW S 1000 RR for Sylvain Barrier. The French factory rider celebrated an early title defence in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup at the previous round at Magny-Cours (FRA). As a reward for the performance he showed in the BMW Motorrad STK Team over the last three years, including winning two titles, BMW Motorrad offers him the chance to debut in World Superbikes at Jerez.

In the Manufacturers’ standings of the Superbike World Championship, BMW heads to the final round lying in third with 412 points. In the Riders’ classification, Marco is currently fourth with 339 points, followed by Chaz who is fifth with 270 points.

In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, Sylvain’s BMW HP4 will be raced by Markus Reiterberger at Jerez. The young German will team up with regular rider Greg Gildenhuys (RSA). At the final round of the season, BMW will try to secure the Manufacturers’ title.

Marco Melandri: “I really like Jerez and during the last years in World Superbikes I missed it a lot. It is a very technical track with tight and fast corners and with very short straights which don’t give you the opportunity to take a breath. On this track, the power of the engine is not the most important factor, but the complete package which has to work properly. For these reasons I expect two great races with many protagonists. The Jerez round not only marks the last race of the 2013 season but will also be the last race for BMW as a factory team. As a farewell I would like to thank my team with a great result.”

Chaz Davies: “Jerez is the last race and it is a pity as it was a good season and it also marks the end of BMW’s factory involvement. I have only raced with the team for one year but it was a productive year. I think every one of us is going to Jerez for the same reason: everyone is highly motivated to finish the season strong and to bring home the best possible results. Our target as ever is to be on the podium but I think everyone on the grid will push really hard at this last race of the season.

We tested quite often at Jerez. It is a difficult circuit. Jerez is a little bit like Laguna, where power is not the most important factor but the chassis needs to be very good. The straight there is pretty short. After the corner, it takes you half of the straight to get your bike in the right position and then you’re already thinking about braking for the hairpin. The track has a little bit of everything, some tight corners as well as fast turns. It is definitely one of the circuits I like.”

Sylvain Barrier: “I still can’t believe that I am going to make my debut in World Superbikes. I have no pressure and I expect to have all the time I need to learn how the bike works, because I have no experience with our 2013 WSBK version of the RR and its tyres. I know the track from our winter test with the BMW Motorrad STK Team, and I like it very much. I don’t have a real target for these races. But I want to do my best and if I get a good rhythm I am confident that I can. And this is the best gift I could receive from BMW for my birthday, which is on Sunday.”

Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “Jerez is a great circuit and, in addition, it is the track we have chosen as our test track. We have been there several times during winter and have collected lots of data, which will allow us to start the weekend with a good base. Our riders like the track a lot, so we are confident that we will be able to have a good season finale.

This weekend we will bring a third bike in SBK specification, because at Jerez the old and new Superstock 1000 Champion Sylvain Barrier will make his debut in the Superbike World Championship. This way we want to thank him for the great seasons and the titles he won with us.

We are confident that he will be able to make best use of this opportunity to present himself on the Superbike stage. In the Superstock Cup, the Manufacturers’ title still has to be won. For this reason we’ll leave Sylvain’s BMW HP4 to Markus Reiterberger and we are confident that he will support BMW to achieve the title.”

Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “In Magny-Cours we were not able to exploit our full potential. After the races we were not satisfied with the results so we expect that all those feelings will guarantee an extra motivation for the last races. Jerez is our test track, where we have been testing in the winter and at the beginning of the season.

We have important data which will help us to set the bike up properly for the various characteristics of the racetrack. The circuit has slow and short straights, but high-speed corners like turns 11 and 12 and tight hairpins as well. From the chassis side it requires a mix of braking stability and good turning.

It is demanding for engine management as well, as it won’t be an easy challenge to find the right setting to accelerate as fast as possible out of the corner, putting the torque on the ground and fighting against the wheelieing. We are confident of being well prepared in order to give Marco, Chaz and, for his first time on a World Superbike, Sylvain the right package to fight with the top guys.”

BMW Motorrad