BMW's preparations for the 2012 World Superbike Championship will get underway with a test at Jerez, headed up by Leon Haslam and new signing Marco Melandri.
Former Yamaha rider Melandri, who finished runner-up to Carlos Checa in his rookie season of Superbike racing this year, made his debut for BMW during the Portimao post-season test last month.
Though a group test is set to take place at Portimao next week, BMW is looking to get the edge on its rivals with run at Jerez, where it will be joined by a host of MotoGP and Moto2 teams, including those running the new wave of BMW-engined CRT machines.
Indeed, Melandri is looking forward to getting back on the S1000RR, stating on his Twitter
account: Off to Jerez!! First real 2012 test. Excited and nervous like first dinner with Manuela. Happy to find my guys on track!” (sic)
is reporting that the test will be a chance for BMW to get acquainted with Magnetti Marelli electronics following the manufacturer's apparent decision to abandon its in-house programme, reputedly the source of the bike's issues over the last three years.