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RennMotorrad is the blog to keep up to date with news and commentary about BMW's racing efforts in World Superbike and MotoAmerica, as well as following events in MotoGP. Local racers running BMWs will also get some love - let us know who you are! Opinions stated in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect policies, positions or practices of BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, BMW Motorrad, BMW NA, BMW AG, or any other organization or corporation.

 

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Top tags: S1000RR  WSBK  Racing  MotoGP  F1  Althea  motorsport  Torres  AltheaBMW  Assen  crash  De Rosa  Haas  IOMTT  Isle of Man  JordiTorres  Melandri  N8  Netherlands  Nicky Hayden  Reiterberger  S100RR  W  WERA  World Superbike 

Monaco Grand Prix Preview

Posted By Chase Hinderstein, Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The World Superbike Championship at Imola this past weekend showed additional progress for BMW, while the haves continue to dominate the podium.

After a bizarre and dangerous crash during the warm up lap of race 1 on Saturday, the rest of the race went without much drama. Rea tried to put up a good challenge to the new dominant power of Chaz Davies on the Ducati. However the Northern Irish rider could not continue to battle with the Welshman, as his tires wore down later in the race and he did well to hold off his teammate, Tom Sykes, to hang on to second place.

Jordi Torres qualified 6th on his Althea S1000RR BMW and showed great pace throughout to finish 4th. I hope that soon he may challenge for a podium, without the need for rain or a dnf from the typical trio. It's really great to watch him as he gains comfort race by race on the bike. It may not be perfectly suited for him. Torres is almost 6' and he appears to climb around the frame while putting the bike deftly through the turns.

In comparison, his teammate Markus Reiterberger is far more elegant on his RR but he just can't maintain the same pace. Reiterberger qualified 8th and still managed good points with a 13th place finish. Reiterberger is of similar size but is far more elegant as he carves turn after turn in a smooth clean fashion that's lovely to behold. However, perhaps it's better to be a bit ugly if it's got more pace.

Race 2 on Sunday had similar results on the podium, while the Torres and Reiterberger finished 7th and 12th respectively. Worth noting was the pace of Leon Camier, alone on his MV Agusta team. The company is challenged but a new engine has brought much more speed for Leon and he finshed 6th and 5th between the two races. If MV cannot improve, his name could be mentioned for bigger rides, but he does turn 30 this year.

Two big moments worth viewing. A major save for Johnny Rea shows that you should never give up on that throttle!

 

 

And also a great demonstration of form from Chaz Davies, as he positions himself for an upcoming left hander, while still over and completing a right hander. It's not easy to fight your body over that way.

 

 


Tags:  MotoGP  S1000RR 

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A good weekend for BMW in Imola

Posted By Chase Hinderstein, Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The World Superbike Championship at Imola this past weekend showed additional progress for BMW, while the haves continue to dominate the podium.

After a bizarre and dangerous crash during the warm up lap of race 1 on Saturday, the rest of the race went without much drama. Rea tried to put up a good challenge to the new dominant power of Chaz Davies on the Ducati. However the Northern Irish rider could not continue to battle with the Welshman, as his tires wore down later in the race and he did well to hold off his teammate, Tom Sykes, to hang on to second place.

Jordi Torres qualified 6th on his Althea S1000RR BMW and showed great pace throughout to finish 4th. I hope that soon he may challenge for a podium, without the need for rain or a dnf from the typical trio. It's really great to watch him as he gains comfort race by race on the bike. It may not be perfectly suited for him. Torres is almost 6' and he appears to climb around the frame while putting the bike deftly through the turns. In comparison, his teammate Markus Reiterberger is far more elegant on his RR but he just can't maintain the same pace. Reiterberger qualified 8th and still managed good points with a 13th place finish. 

Reiterberger is of similar size but is far more elegant as he carves turn after turn in a smooth clean fashion that's lovely to behold. However, perhaps it's better to be a bit ugly if it's got more pace.

Race 2 on Sunday had similar results on the podium, while the Torres and Reiterberger finished 7th and 12th respectively. Worth noting was the pace of Leon Camier, alone on his MV Agusta team. The company is challenged but a new engine has brought much more speed for Leon and he finshed 6th and 5th between the two races. If MV cannot improve, his name could be mentioned for bigger rides, but he does turn 30 this year.

Two big moments worth viewing.

A major save for Johnny Rea shows that you should never give up on that throttle!

  

And also a great demonstration of form from Chaz Davies, as he positions himself for an upcoming left hander, while still over and completing a right hander. It's not easy to fight your body over that way.


Tags:  MotoGP  motorsport  Racing  S1000RR  WSBK 

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MotoGP - The bike you get for a couple million dollars.

Posted By Chase Hinderstein, Monday, March 21, 2016

Why does a prototype MotoGP bike cost millions to get on a track, while a tricked out “stock” World Superbike can make the grid for a couple hundred thousand?

This is a very tough question to answer directly, but one expensive component was on display this weekend for MotoGP’s first race of 2016, under the lights in Qatar.

While the most sophisticated of the consumer bikes, for example the HP4, now feature technologies that alter dampening 10 times per second, the prototypes of MotoGP are where boundaries are challenged and technological development is pursued without any logical barrier of capital cost. MotoGP is where those technologies that eventually find their way to the World Superbike Championship and ultimately our own consumer garages are tried and tested. It was actually the failure of one of these bits that illustrate the rule. While we sometimes hear anecdotal excuses from a rider to explain their shortcomings in a race, blaming a breaking system or some other component, this weekend’s failure on Cal Crutchlow’s Honda ultimately has been blamed for his crash.

Cal CrutchlowThese prototype bikes are now carrying engine management technology that alters the bike’s engine output to the customized preferences of the rider, on each corner! What failed on the Honda though was the bike’s understanding of which corner is was entering. The simplest bit of this system would be to tack on a GPS reader, but that’s prohibited by rule. Instead, the bike’s CPU must keep track of its tire revolutions to guess at its current location, and thereby base its engine output for that particular curve. Apparently this failed Crutchlow and he fought inappropriate engine power for a series of laps before the bike finally crashed.

Really what this reinforces for me is that these are a couple dozen of the most skilled riders in motorcycling. They are all out there on the very edge of their abilities and the capabilities of their bikes. It can be a very subtle line between the perfect turn and low siding into a gravel trap.

Such nuance is perhaps what led reigning champion, Jorge Lorenzo to victory this weekend. His Yamaha has the installed winglets up front, to increase downforce, while Valentino Rossi’s does not. The choice to use these spoilers was their own. Also, they ran on different tires. Jorge says he gambled with the choice of the softer compound and since the tire held up, he maintained the quicker pace to victory.

I focus here on this technology aspect of racing, with little regard for the race itself because I think it illustrates the point of how close the competition is. Ultimately Rossi finished 4th, but only 2.387 seconds behind first after all those laps.

It wasn’t a race without excitement. The top three, Dovizioso (Ducati) in 2nd and Marquez (Honda) in 3rd, were pushing and challenging each other throughout. The second Ducati, ridden by Andrea Iannone may have had the best pace of them all, but he crashed out when crossing that fine line midway through the race, going beyond the edge of a perfect turn.

Those three factory teams should all be able to make legitimate stabs at first all season long, and we may even see a real challenge from Maverick Vinales if his Suzuki is up to the task. I believe Vinales will either challenge on that bike or find another ride in the next 2 years, as his talent is sufficient to be a world champion.

Lastly, Bradley Smith told reporters on Friday that this would surely be his last year on the Yamaha Tech 3 satellite team. At the age of 25, it’s thought that he’s aging out of a spot reserved to develop young riders. Well, late on Sunday Smith updated his story with the announcement that he’s signed to be on the new KTM for 2017. A bit early for silly season, no?

The MotoGP circus next appears on April 3rd, in Argentina. I’m pleased to have it broadcast in the USA on beinTV sports, which doesn’t seem interested in interrupting race coverage for a NASCAR press conference, as FOX Sports was known to do.

Tags:  MotoGP 

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Welcome to RennMotorrad!

Posted By Chase Hinderstein, Monday, February 29, 2016

The winter is officially over. Unless you’re someone who demarcated the start of spring last weekend by watching the Skittles swirling around the oval in Daytona, this weekend ushered in the start of the race season with two great races in World Superbike competition from Philip Island, Australia.

Welcome to RennMotorrad (@BMWRennmotorrad), a blog where I’ll discuss BMW Motorrad racing, primarily in World Superbike, while also using license to discuss events in MotoGP, F1, and other areas of the racing world.

While still not getting full support on any factory team, the BMW S1000RR is positioned for better results in 2016, with 2 notable albeit non-factory teams switching from other brands to the BMW platform and bringing along larger budgets and more prominent riders.

The Milwaukee Tools sponsored team will receive some factory support from BMW and carries aboard legitimate firepower in Josh Brookes, who previously won the championship in British Superbikes, as well as Karel Abraham. Abraham is a rider from the Czech Republic who has raced the past 5 years in MotoGP. His family owns the circuit in Brno, but unfortunately that’s not on the calendar for 2016.

Althea is not only a Grateful Dead song but our other team representing BMW in the Championship. They too will receive some factory support to their base in Rome. While their riders may be lesser known, it’s notable that they have Jordi Torres, aka the Spanish Elvis, on board. Jordi showed great progress last season on the now defunct Aprilia factory team and I think he’ll be the one of the four BMWs to challenge for some podiums this year.

A quick mention of a change in WSBK this season. WSBK has always run two races per event. However this season they’ve moved race 1 to Saturday afternoon, after riders finish qualifying in the morning. Happily, both races are shown live in the USA on beIN sports. The station is focused on international sports. While it may not have as many subscribers, their style of coverage is far superior to Fox Sports, who frequently stumbles in their coverage of MotoGP. While Fox may interrupt a MotoGP live race in favor of a NASCAR post-race press conference, beIN shows the full race with limited interruptions. Hopefully MotoGP will move over to beIN or join F1 at NBC Sports after this contract.

The season began this past weekend at Phillip Island, a popular tourist destination for Australians, which is about 2 hours south of Melbourne.

Chaz Daytona 2008.jpg
By David Pettit - Wikipedia:Contact us/Photo submission, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5127072

In race 1, the front of the pack featured some good battles for 1st, especially with challenges by Chaz Davies who now sits atop a Ducati but we remember from his rides atop the BMW factory ride, but ultimately it was the Northern Irishman Jonathan Rea who took the checkered. It was Rea and this Kawasaki that won the Championship last season.

Worth watching this year is Nicky Hayden (!) who comes to WSBK after a long successful career in MotoGP racing. Nicky is back aboard a familiar and competitive Honda, which he managed to a 9th place finish race 1. The American fought near the front for much of the race, but rear tire degradation late in the match saw him drop a few spots.

Also worth watching this year is British rider and fellow bulldog owner, Leon Camier. Camier is alone representing a much improved MV Augusta team, and I have possibly unrealistic hopes that this brand can return to form. It had been a premier racing badge in much of the 20th century.

Torres was the best performing BMW in race 1, finishing 8th. He was followed by Brookes in 10th,  Abraham 13th, and Torres’ teammate Reiterberger out of the points in 20th. To the uninitiated this may seem uninspired, but for three of the four to finish in the points is actually a fine achievement. It speaks to the stock performance of the bike and the grit of the riders. They’re aboard a bike which is not very different from the S1000RRs we’re seeing at dealerships. To compete successfully with the big budget factory modified teams is no easy task.

Race 2 on Sunday was not dissimilar. Ultimately Rea held off a strong challenge from Hayden’s teammate on the Honda, Michael van der Mark and took the flag for the double. Nicky came close to his first podium but was ultimately passed on the final lap by the Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli aboard his Yamaha R1.

Torres finished 7th, essentially leading the second pack of riders. He was closely followed by his own teammate, Markus Reiterberger in 8th. Brookes took 9th, while Abraham bookended Chaz Davies by taking 11th. Davies had been in close contention with Rea, swapping 1st place at times, but late in the race he lost the back end and slid off the track. He managed to pick up his Ducati and scramble to stay in the top 10.

Next race weekend is March 13th, when the WSBK Championship moves on to Thailand. The following weekend is a highlight of my year, when both MotoGP and Formula 1 kick off their seasons, in Qatar under the lights and Melbourne Australia respectively.

A fantastic resource to easily discover when these and other race circuits are locally broadcast, can be found at tvracer.com.

I will be also tweeting and sharing related materials on Twitter. Please follow along @BMWRennmotorrad.

Tags:  F1  MotoGP  Racing  S1000RR  World Superbike  WSBK 

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