With FIM World Superbike about to kick off in earnest for 2013, racing teams around the world are getting in their final test laps of winter. This includes the GoldBet SBK Team, their BMW S 1000 RR race bikes, plus riders Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies. The GoldBet SBK chose Austalia’s Phillip Island to make their final pre-season adjustments.
Official dispatch from BMW Motorsport: Welcome to Australia. With one week to go until the opening round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship in Phillip Island, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team has continued its season preparation with two days of private testing on the South Australian circuit. On Thursday, the first day of the test, the resurfaced track was still slippery, causing several crashes. The weather was mostly sunny and warm, but with strong winds today. In total, works rider Marco Melandri (ITA) completed 114 laps (507 km) on his BMW S 1000 RR. His team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) did 125 laps (556 km).
On Monday and Tuesday (18th and 19th February), the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team will join the official testing of the FIM Superbike World Championship in Phillip Island. The first race weekend of the season starts one week from today, on Friday, 22nd February.
“Yesterday it was quite difficult to ride as the track was still very dirty but today it was much better, although it was pretty windy. Regarding our work with the bike, I am happy with this test. We have worked on a few different areas, including setting up the front end of the RR and trying several geometries and solutions. We have achieved some good results. We also tested different engine specifications. Physically though I am not happy as my shoulder was causing difficulties again. I could do some laps but then I struggled and had a lot of pain. I thought it would be much better. We now have to wait and see how I will feel next week. I will now try to rest over the weekend and get some physiotherapy.”
“It was a productive test again and it was good to ride here in Phillip Island, a track quite different to the circuits we have tested at before. It was also very useful to have two quality days of dry track time. We kept on improving and got closer and closer to the group that I should be with. I feel more and more comfortable on the bike and we improved our understanding of setting up the RR. At the moment I am struggling a little bit to do really fast lap times but I think consistently we are not too far away. This is good and I am just missing a few tenths to where I want to be. Yesterday it was very slippery for the first few hours. I think you were lucky if you did not crash. I had a few moments, not from pushing too hard, but from encountering dirt on the track. But I think that has to be expected when the track has been recently resurfaced, and conditions improved over the test. I tried to be sensible because a lot of riders crashed yesterday and there is potentially a lot to lose before we even start the first race. Generally it was a good test, and we’re going in the right direction. Each time I ride, I find out something new and overall I am quite happy. ”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“Finally we got the chance to test in good weather conditions, though it was a bit windy today. Both days were positive for us. Both crews tried various items and parts for the chassis, engine and electronics. Over these two days, we were able to complete a lot of work and we found a good base for the official test next week, when we start to work on the fine-tuning. As Marco was not one hundred percent fit with his shoulder, we planned a slightly reduced schedule for him and selected the most important parts for him to test. Once we were satisfied with the feedback we decided to stop testing on his side.
“The new surface on the track is smoother but it is also abrasive and is affecting the tyre life. But usually the first day of practice on new asphalt is difficult and normally it gets better day by day, so we think that it will improve for the race over the next couple of testing days. Both Marco and Chaz improved their performance with every outing, both showed good speed and, what is even more important, they were quite consistent. Overall the test was positive, but we have still some more work to do to be one hundred percent prepared for next weekend. The base is good and we are confident that with two more days of testing we will be ready for the race.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“It has been a positive test. The weather conditions were good, but today we had a lot of wind. On these two days, we completed an extensive programme and our riders were happy with the work done and the results we achieved. Marco worked a lot on the balance of the bike and also on the electronics. We think that we have found a good compromise. Chaz also worked hard and further improved his confidence on his RR. Due to the new asphalt, the track conditions were pretty difficult, especially on the first day. This resulted in many crashes. We will continue our preparation with two more days of testing at the official test early next week and overall, we are confident and positive for the first race weekend.”