BMW Italia has unveiled the bike that double World Superbike Champion James Toseland will campaign this season in a launch at Monza.
Having sampled the S1000RR for the first time during the latter stages of 2010, Toseland was officially revealed alongside team-mate Ayrton Badovini, just over a month before the start of the new campaign.
Though the BMW Italia outfit is stepping up from the Superstock 1000 series – which it dominated in 2010 with Badovini on the bike – the Superbike operation is mostly made up of personnel from Feel Racing, better known as Ducati Xerox in recent years.
With the team revealing colours similar to that of the factory BMW entry, Toseland – a former champion with Ducati – is excited to be leading a new chapter in its history.
“The test at Portimão next week will be crucial, and we hope the lap times are good,” the Englishman is quoted as having said by GP One
. “The initial outing was simply to check that everything was working well and to understand what path we needed to take regarding the bike's set-up. Physically I feel good, and I believe that with this team – who I know very well, given that I won my first world title with some of the guys – we can get some really good results.”
Badovini, who won nine of the ten SSTK 1000 races for BMW Italia last year, is looking forward to returning to the World Superbike stage after showing promise with Pedercini Kawasaki back in 2008.
“I'm happy to have believed in the words of (sporting director) Serafino Foti and (BMW Motorrad Italia director) Andrea Buzzoni, who introduced me to the Superbike programme,” confessed the Italian. “I know how big this opportunity is that I don't want to waste it, and above all, having already raced in this category I know how important the bike and team are, and from that point-of-view I feel very confident.”
That optimism is matched by both Buzzoni and BMW Motorrad Motorsport chief Bernhard Godmayer, with BMW Italia set to benefit from the same electronics as the factory outfit and an engine that is practically at the same level.
“This project was only finally approved on 21 September,” remarked Buzzoni, “and everybody inside the team, as well as our suppliers, has truly performed miracles to get everything ready in time to get out for the first test at Portimão.”
“Last year's results were not satisfactory,” added Godmayer. “This year, we certainly aim to improve. We can count upon two teams between which we want to establish a strong relationship to allow for a continuous exchange of experience. The German engineers will have the possibility to discuss things with the Italian engineers and vice-versa. The works team will receive developments first, and once each one has been tested and approved, they will be passed to the Italian team too.”
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