BMW rider Leon Haslam (above) and Marco Melandri completed a pre-season test at Valencia.
The BMW S 1000 RR is back on the track: Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport continued its preparation for the 2012 season with two days of testing (25th to 26th January) at Valencia in Spain. The winter test ban in the FIM Superbike World Championship expired on 15th January. Factory riders, Marco Melandri (ITA) and Leon Haslam (GBR), completed a total of 950 kilometres of testing on the 2012 race version of the RR. The weather was mostly sunny with some clouds on the second day, the air temperature reached 15 degrees Celsius, the track temperature 18 degrees Celsius.
During this test, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport focused on verifying the latest developments it has made in recent weeks. The bikes were equipped with the latest version of the engine which proved to work perfectly. The team also worked with updated software for the BMW electronics and was able to further improve the electronic strategies. In addition, the team tried new parts on several areas of the bike.
Motorrad Motorsport has drawn a positive conclusion from this test. The bike was working as expected in all areas. This allows the team to now focus on fine tuning the chassis and the electronics. Despite the cool track temperatures, the team was able to collect important information in order to prepare for the next tests.
In around two weeks’ time, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport will travel to Phillip Island (AUS) where the FIM Superbike Word Championship’s 2012 season will officially start on 26th February. Before that the team will conduct two more tests at the Australian circuit: from 13th to 15th February and at the official Infront Test on 20th and 21st February.
“It was good to be back on the bike after the winter. The testing of the updated electronics was very encouraging. We checked if everything is working well before we go to Australia, and the result was good. Of course we still need to improve in some areas. In entering corners, I still need some more confidence on the bike in order so I am to push properly, but we are all working very hard and I am sure that we will find a solution at the next test in Australia. Phillip Island is not an easy track, so it is important to be confident with the bike to be able to go into the corners very fast.
In the next two weeks I will keep in contact with the team and we will analyse the data from the test to prepare for Australia. In addition, I will do a lot of training.”
“It was a long winter back home and I am definitely happy to be back on the bike. We were lucky with the conditions. It was a bit cold in the morning, but we were able to get most out of the two days. We got through everything that we needed to go through, so I am very positive. These two days were important. We have a lot of new things for this year and it was good to test before we go to Phillip Island. In addition, it was good to get a few laps under our belts and get up to speed again. We definitely made big steps and are much further ahead compared to last year. It really is a stronger package and we still have five more days to test in Australia to dial it all in.
Next week I will go to Germany to meet the team there. Then I will fly back home, do some PR-Events and continue my training programme, and then we will be already heading to Australia.”