World SBK BMW Season Preview 2013

February 20, 2013
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

During the summer of 2012, BMW Motorrad announced that the factory team would consolidate its racing effort with a strategic realignment which gave BMW Motorrad Italia “responsibility for the factory race and test team as well as for chassis development.” BMW in Germany remains responsible for developments on the power train and electronics of the S1000RR. In effect, this allows BMW to focus resources on one full factory-backed team.

The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team is led by General Manager Andrea Buzzoni with riders Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies. Melandri returns for his second season with BMW while, for Davies, 2013 will be his first season with the Beemer.

Melandri gave BMW its first WorldSBK race win in 2012 and then went on to give the marque an additional five wins before the end of the year. He was in close competition for the title until a string of disastrous rounds late in the season saw him fall too far behind to recover the overall lead. Davies, piloting an Aprilia RSV4 in 2012 for ParkinGO MTC Racing, finished the season ninth overall and earned his first career premier-class win in Race 2 at Nurburging. Just prior to the German round, BMW Motorrad announced that Davies would be the rider to join Melandri as teammate in 2013.

The S1000RR to be used by both Davies and Melandri has been updated somewhat from the 2012 model, boasting a redesigned combustion chamber and numerous changes to the geometry of the bike in order to facilitate the use of the new 17-inch tires. To maximize time while changing tires during a race, if ever the need should arise, engineers also designed a quick release system for the front wheel that allows for faster replacement. This development was spurred by the rule change for 2013, which says that races will no longer be suspended if changing track conditions require tire changes.

Satellite riders will also pilot the S1000RR during the WorldSBK championship, with newcomer Vittorio Iannuzzo aboard one for the Grillini Dentalmatic SBK Team and Ivan Clementi riding for HTM Racing. At Phillip Island, wildcard rider Glen Allerton of Next Gen Motorsports will also be on the Beemer.

2013 BMW SBK Roster:
#33 Marco Melandri – BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team
#19 Chaz Davies – BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team
#31 Vittorio Iannuzzo – Grillini Dentalmatic SBK Team
#18 Ivan Clementi – HTM Racing

Want to get in on the 2013 World Superbike action? Play Motorcycle USA’s Fantasy Superbike for a chance to win prizes like a VIP trip to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and $50 gift cards from Get in on the action before it’s too late. Round 1 at Phillip Island is set for February 24th!