The BMW HP4 will compete in a number of road race series in 2013, including the Italian Superbike Championship and the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup.
The title race is back on: the 2013 season is getting underway in national and international motorcycle championships all over the world. In amongst the action again this year will be BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport. The specialist division supports BMW customer teams in a wide range of championships with engineering assistance and performance parts. Ever since BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport was founded in 2011, the specialists from Munich have played major roles in many of the titles and race wins achieved by BMW riders and teams, thanks to its on-site support.
BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport is now looking to follow on from this success in the 2013 season. This year, the BMW S 1000 RR will have company: a number of teams are also lining up with the new BMW HP4. BMW Motorrad’s latest supersports bike was launched last autumn and made its race debut at the iconic Macau Grand Prix in November.
In the FIM Endurance World Championship, BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent will once again fly the flag for BMW Motorrad this season. The bike of choice remains the number 99 RR. Last year, the team dominated proceedings on its way to an impressive win at the “8 Hours of Doha” in Qatar, and also finished third at the legendary “24 Hours of Le Mans” in France – a historic first podium for a European manufacturer. As in 2011, the team finished runner-up in the overall standings in the world championship. Team Thevent will also line up in the Italian Superbike Championship this season. Here, however, the team will run a new BMW HP4. It will be ridden by Sébastien Gimbert (FRA), who has not only enjoyed success with the team on the endurance circuit, but also has two titles in the French Superbike Championship to his name. At the first round of the Italian Championship, Gimbert finished fourth and fifth.
The FIM Superstock 1000 Cup will form part of the support programme for the FIM Superbike World Championship. Here, BMW HP RaceSupport is supporting the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team as it runs the two BMW HP4s ridden by reigning champion Sylvain Barrier (FRA) and Greg Gildenhuys (RSA). The team has won two of the last three titles in this series with the RR, and lines up for the first time with the new BMW HP4 in 2013.
The mission in the International German Superbike Championship (IDM) is also to defend the titles won last year. BMW has won the Manufacturers’ title in the fiercely-competitive IDM Superbike category for the last two seasons. In 2012, BMW also dominated the Riders’ Championship: spearheaded by champion Erwan Nigon (FRA), no less than four RR riders occupied the top positions. After eight of ten race weekends, the BMW S 1000 RR boasted an impressive record: ten wins, 14 second places, and 13 thirds. As well as the RR, the new BMW HP4 will also line up in the 2013 season.
The BMW teams in the Belgian Superbike Championship also harbour title ambitions. Gregory Fastré (BEL) secured the third title in succession on his RR last year. This season, the BMW teams in Belgium will look to both the RR and the HP4 to bring them success. The new bike is also in action on the support programme for the British Superbike Championship: with the support of HP RaceSupport, the Superstock version of the BMW HP4 will start in the National Superstock 1000 Championship.
In South Africa, meanwhile, the search is on for a successor to Greg Gildenhuys. The 23-year-old, who is riding in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup this season, was crowned South African Superbike Champion three years on the trot with the RR. This year, BMW Motorrad lines up in South Africa with the HP4, and receives active support from the specialists from Munich. The season is already underway, and Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport secured its first podium through rider Chris Leeson (RSA) on the new bike’s first outing in this series. Also in the southern hemisphere, but thousands of miles away, BMW riders and teams are battling for victories and titles in the Australian Superbike Championship. They can also count on assistance from HP RaceSupport.
“The 2013 season will be particularly interesting for us,” said Berthold Hauser, Head of BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport. “Fielding the new BMW HP4 poses an exciting challenge. Over the winter we have worked intensively with the teams to adapt the bike to the particular demands of motorcycle racing. In the case of the extremely successful RR, our customers were able to call on the experience and data gained in recent years. That was not possible with the brand-new BMW HP4, for which we had absolutely no information. This is where the BMW teams receive active support from us when it comes to the basic set-up, various configurations and electronics. In particular, the correct use of DDC on the HP4 is new territory for everyone, including us. The challenge is, to a certain degree, similar to that of five years ago, when the DTC on the RR ‘learned to race’. The preparations are now over. We have learned a lot and have already been able to put what we learned into practice in time for the start of the season. Now it is time to get down to business. Thanks to the close cooperation with the BMW teams, we are confident that success will also soon be possible with the HP4. At the same time, we are optimistic that the RR will remain the bike to beat in many championships. We are excellently positioned and looking forward to the 2013 season.”