BMW Motorrad Motorsport takes stock of successful season at the EICMA and looks forward to 2020.

Milan. In November 2018, BMW Motorrad presented the new BMW S
1000 RR at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan (ITA) and announced
its works comeback in the FIM Superbike World Championship
(WorldSBK). Now, a year later, BMW Motorrad Motorsport took positive
stock of the maiden season of the new RR at the EICMA, and looked
ahead to 2020.


During a motorsport press conference at the EICMA stand of BMW
Motorrad, Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad, and BMW Motorrad
Motorsport Director Marc Bongers discussed the new Superbike’s first
year in international racing. Tom Sykes (GBR), who will contest his
second season for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team in 2020, his new
team-mate Eugene Laverty (GBR) and Team Principal Shaun Muir were also there.


In the FIM Superbike World Championship, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK
team caused a stir right from the very first race, with fast times and
good results. Sykes claimed the first WorldSBK podium for the new RR
at Misano (ITA) in June; the Superbike’s total haul for the maiden
season was four podiums and one pole position.


In July, BMW Motorrad Motorsport also announced that it would be
entering a works team in the FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM
EWC). In its maiden race, the Bol d’Or at Le Castellet (FRA) in
September, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance team finished in third
place in a field of 56 starters at the first time of asking.


In international road racing, Peter Hickman (GBR / Smiths Racing)
rode to wins and records on the new RR at legendary events such as the
North West 200, the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy and the Ulster Grand
Prix. Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR) of the alpha Racing-Van-Zon-BMW team also
celebrated a commanding title win in the German International
Motorcycle Championship IDM with the new RR. There were also other
successes in various championships.


“It was a fantastic first season for the new BMW S 1000 RR,” said Dr.
Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad, at the EICMA. “The BMW Motorrad
WorldSBK team and our motorsport employees in Munich did an
outstanding job in WorldSBK. Our maiden season in WorldSBK was a year
of learning, for developing the racing motorcycle, but we didn’t have
to wait long to celebrate our first podium with Tom Sykes. Further
podiums followed, and we were consistently up there battling in the
top six in this series with a top-class field so we exceeded our own
expectations. The same is true of the FIM EWC. Within a very short
timeframe, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team developed an
endurance version of the RR, and the team was up there at the top from
the start of the first race. We are also delighted to have continued
the winning streak of our predecessor model with the new RR in
international road racing. Our new Superbike also enjoyed success in
national championships, such as the IDM, in which the RR was dominant.
All these successes in the various race categories show that our
production version of the RR is the perfect basis for developing
racing versions to meet various requirements.”


“When we started the development, we could not yet foresee these
strong results,” added BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Marc Bongers.
“We knew, however, that the new RR has a strong base. The first winter
tests already showed that the bike had potential in race trim. Over
the course of the season, we continuously improved the bike. The
largest impact came from two engine updates. Furthermore, we brought
new bodywork and considerable electronic updates and made
modifications to the chassis. In general, development is a continuous
process to close the gap to our top competitors. We have acquired a
lot of data in our first season from which we can analyse our
strengths and weaknesses. This will be our base to work from in the winter.”


“It has been a manic season, the whole relationship with BMW Motorrad
Motorsport and SMR started very late, so the challenge was always
going to be difficult in its first year. Going into 2020 we can look
at the success we achieved in 2019 and work on the good foundations we
have built,“ said Shaun Muir, Team Principal of the BMW Motorrad
WorldSBK Team. “I’m especially pleased in the way that we have
steadily developed the BMW S 1000 RR at our pace, we have developed
the bike in such a way that we are a force to be reckoned with and now
we must take that to the next level. With the new addition of Eugene
Laverty partnering Tom Sykes in 2020 we have a strong duo and we feel
we can take that challenge to another level and challenge for wins.”


Sykes and Laverty also gave an initial preview of the coming WorldSBK
season at the EICMA and presented their BMW S 1000 RR for 2020 on the stage.


“Regarding the 2019 season, I feel like the new BMW S 1000 RR was
certainly able to showcase a lot of its potential,” explained Sykes.
“Considering the fact that the project started very late I think that
what we were able to achieve in that time is really impressive. The
good thing as well is that during the season we were able to gather a
lot of data and information which is now very valuable in the winter
moving into the 2020 season. I’m very happy that I have the continuity
and stay with the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. And of course, my target
is to win races and I feel that with a bit more time and development
that is achievable. I can’t wait to start our programme for 2020.”


His new team-mate Laverty is already looking forward to working with
the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team: “I’m so grateful for this opportunity
from BMW for 2020 and the faith that BMW has put in me. My aim is to
repay with some race wins and I know that the bike is capable of that
after the debut season that already saw the RR on the podium several
times. I hope I can add to that in 2020.”


Sykes and Laverty will also be on site on the public days of the
EICMA. On Saturday (13:30 CET) and Sunday (12:30 CET), there will be
interview sessions and autograph sessions with the duo at the BMW
Motorrad stand (hall 13, stand N54). Sykes and Laverty will also
attend the WorldSBK Paddock Show on Saturday.