BMW Motorrad will retain an interest in the World Superbike Championship in 2014, as privateer outfit BMW Italia sets its sights on securing the inaugural EVO title with Sylvain Barrier.

BMW Italia spearheaded the manufacturer's factory-backed effort in World Superbikes last season, but the fleeting arrangement came to an end after just a single season when the German firm announced its withdrawal for the series.

Though the majority of the BMW Italia set-up, known as Feel Racing, will run Ducati's factory effort in World Superbikes this season, the existing BMW Italia team - which also competed at Superstock level - will enter a single S1000RR for its two-time SSTK 1000 title winner Barrier.

To be overseen by existing BMW Italia boss Andrea Buzzoni, the Italian says BMW Motorrad will still be in contact throughout the season to give Barrier the best opportunity to lift the EVO crown in what is becoming an increasingly competitive field.

"As BMW Italia we are continuing our involvement in allowing Sylvain Barrier to race in the EVO class in 2014. It will be his fourth year with us and together we achieved tremendous results. Our new project is based on two pillars: one is the rider, and the other one is the team, which puts together the best expertise BMW Italia was able to bring so far.

"I'm talking about our Sporting and Technical Director Dino Acocella, who started with us in STK but in the last two years he mostly focused on the SBK side of the garage. He is the perfect guy for this new EVO campaign. Our crew chief will be Rossano Innocenti, who has won six STK1000 titles in seven years, 3 with Ducati and 3 with BMW Italia.

"I can say we go back to our BMW Italia roots, even though we will still keep in close contact with BMW Motorrad, as they will use our project to gather information for BMW sporting products. One of Berti Hauser's - 2014 new Motorsport director ad BMW Motorrad - guys will be with us for the whole season. The goal is to win the EVO title, but we know there'll be a lot of competition, as half of the grid will be racing on EVO bikes."

As yet, only one BMW is guaranteed to be present on the grid in 2014 - ensuring at least eight manufacturers will be represented -, though Team Toth has signalled plans to a S1000RR in both the main championship class and the EVO class for Imre Toth and Peter Sebestyen.


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