For the first time for more than 30 years, an official BMW team will compete in the Isle of Man TT.
Just one year on from re-entering the international motorcycle racing stage with its Superbike World Championship team, BMW has announced it will officially back an entry in the Isle of Man TT.
It will be the first time since the late 1970s that an official BMW entry has raced in the TT. Prior to that, BMW had recorded 30 TT wins since their debut in 1937, with the majority coming in the sidecar class.
On that last appearance it was riders Helmut Dahne and Hans Otto Butenuth who carried the flag for the Bavarian firm – in 2010 it will be BMW test rider Rico Penzkofer.
The 34-year-old, who finished fifth in last year's Macau Grand Prix, will ride a full Superbike-spec machine in the Superbike and Senior TT races. As an official test rider, Penzkofer has been part of the major development team of the S1000RR, and he hopes his knowledge of the bike coupled with his experience at the TT will bring results.
Te World Endurance Championship race winner made a strong debut at the 2009 TT, when he contested the two Supersport races, achieving a personal best lap of just under 120mph and leaving the Island with two bronze replicas. The Borna rider is looking forward to featuring more prominently this year.
“To be representing BMW on their return to the TT is a tremendous honour for me and after my debut last year I can't wait to return to the Mountain Course.”
“Riding the Superbike will obviously present a new challenge but the bike is superb and that, combined with my own improved knowledge of the course, should see us able to make a good impression.”
“Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus have proved in World Superbikes that the bike is competitive and we hope to do the same at the TT.”
Isle of Man Tourism and Leisure Minister Martyn Quayle said the addition of BMW to a line-up which already features Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and KTM was a coup for the TT.
“It's really exciting to see the return of such a prestigious marque to the Isle of Man TT and their involvement in the 2010 races is a great boost to an already strong list of manufacturers – more evidence that the TT is going from strength to strength.”