Coming quickly, the 2017 WSBK racing season is. Having concluded a two-day test at Jerez de la Frontera last week, the Althea BMW Racing team was back on track pre-season for two days of testing at Portimao in Portugal.
After a crash at the Jerez test left him with a shoulder blade fracture, Jordi Torres was unable to participate, so his team-mate Markus Reiterberger was joined by Raffaele De Rosa, winner of the Super Stock1000 (SSK) championship with Althea in 2016. Both riders worked hard, providing the technicians with a significant data for the continuing development of the BMW S1000RR bikes. Rider Marco Faccani was also injured in a crash at Jerez. His progress has been encouraging, though he was limited to a certain extent by shoulder pain.
Rider Julien Puffe is continuing to practice with his new BMW, and participated in the test with the newly formed Althea MF84 team, making good progress throughout the two day test. The Althea BMW Racing will be on track at Phillip Island on 20-21 February before the 2017 championship gets underway, with Round One taking place just a few days later (24-26 February) at the same Australian track. Mark your calendar!
Markus Reiterberger: “The testing has been tough, but we got a lot done, testing geometry, the Pirelli tires, many things. I’m still struggling in terms of my feeling with the BMW but I hope to improve on this. I need to work even harder to see the results of the great work that the team is doing. I thank the team for their continuing hard work and hope we can obtain the desired results this season.”
Raffaele De Rosa: “Coming here was a little unexpected but I’m very pleased to have chance to get back on the bike. The track was a difficult one but we tried to carry out as many tests as possible. Unfortunately I had a small crash and that cut into our time a little, but I had fun and hope I’ve been able to provide the team with useful feedback.”
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