Crash.Net WSBK News
BMW boss positive despite missed opportunities
24 April 2012
BMW Motorsport Director Bernhard Gobmeier says he has reason to be pleased with his team's performance at Assen, despite seeing victory slip from its grasp on three occasions in one race.
Currently in the midst of its fourth season of WSBK racing, BMW has developed into a consistent front runner, but is yet to turn its best performances into a much anticipated victory.
Nonetheless, the long wait for a win looked to be almost over during the first race at Assen as Marco Melandri worked his way to the front of the field, only for the onset of rain to bring the race to a temporary halt.
Resuming from pole position, Melandri went backwards on the restart due to a bad wet weather set-up, but his team-mate Leon Haslam instead assumed his position out front. However, though the Briton's excellent pace in awful conditions would see him build up a substantial nine second cushion over the competition, he would crash out just six laps from the end.
Even so, despite the factory riders dropping out of contention, BMW's victory dreams were still alive courtesy of its satellite rider Ayrton Badovini, who sensationally found himself in the lead of a WSBK race for the first time with just two laps remaining. However, his hopes of a dream victory would disappear in an accident shortly afterwards.
A tale of missed opportunities for BMW, which is considered to be the best funded team on the WSBK grid, Gobmeier feels the manufacturer showed the pace to win at Assen, but were caught out by unusual circumstances. With this in mind, he is certain the first victory is coming soon.
“Looking back at the race day we can be happy,” he said. “Of course we were disappointed about the result of the first race. The spectators saw three different BMW riders leading the race but none of them winning it. On the other hand both Leon and Marco showed today that we are in a position to win races on our own merit – no matter what weather conditions. Lady Luck was not on our side, but I am confident that we will get our desired result soon.
“In the second race we were a bit unlucky with the tyre choice on Leon's side, but weather predictions were nearly impossible. Both riders showed great racing to the chequered flag. We will not stop working hard. A big thank you to everybody at the race track and in the workshop. The team did a great job.”