Iconic motorcycling manufacturer Bimota could return to the World Superbike Championship full-time in 2014, with possible outings as early as next season, according to its new sporting director Ruben Xaus.
The Italian brand, which has the distinction of being the winning machine in the first-ever WSBK race in 1988, has not been seen in the production-bike series for more than a decade, when Anthony Gobert completed a part-season in 2000.
However, the recent acquisition of 11-time WSBK race winner Xaus as its sporting director is shifting its focus towards motorcycle racing once more with an immediate plan to enter the Italian Moto2 Championship.
In addition, Xaus is also heading up development of its Superbike machine, the DB8, with a view to racing it at selected events on the World Superbike stage in 2013. Should the bike prove competitive, Xaus hints that Bimota could return full-time from 2014.
“We are currently working on Moto2, but we just started a joint venture with Edo Racing to broaden our scope of action to other championships,” Xaus told Motoblog.it
. “We're taking it one step at a time. This year we'll be in the Italian Moto2 championship and we may also do a few wild cards in the World championship and then we may compete full time in Moto2 World championship, but only when we are ready, which could also be next year, depending on how the bike goes.
“On the other hand we also have a Superbike program: we are developing a bike for 2013, when they should change the rules which should lean towards more stock specs. “
“We don't know if we'll start immediately with a full time entry or if we'll just wild card a few times in 2013 and then compete full time in 2014. Like I said before for Moto2, we have to see first if we're competitive, and then there's the topic regarding sponsors, if we were to have a partner with a lot of capital we could start right away and gradually develop the bike, but we will be there.“
Runner-up in 2002, WSBK veteran Xaus endured a troublesome season in 2011 aboard the Ten Kate Honda, but he the Spaniard insists he is delighted with his new development role.
“I am working on the development of the Superbike, but I also help with the Moto2. In the end between giving riding classes, customer tests and Bimota, I'm racing around more than when I was a rider, in fact I'm happy because I'm in better shape than last year.”