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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 

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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Americans missing from Formula One

Posted By Chase Hinderstein, Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Formula One is thought to be the second most popular sport in the world, but in the United States it’s rarely even an afterthought. I don’t know if you can put the cart before the horse or if you can have a chicken before an egg, but the races this year also have very little American presence on the track.

There has been some progress, and 2016 will introduce the new Haas racing F1 team I expect Haas will be a legitimate force, if not actual contenders for the podium. Backed by deep corporate pockets, seeking to expand their own brand globally, and with solid racing knowhow from their domestic efforts as well as a Ferrari engine, Haas should have a steep learning curve. However, they elected to go with known quantities in the driver’s seats and not an American behind the wheel.

In a sport where the highest team budgets can go beyond $500 million annually, staying solvent is always part of the equation in F1. Some teams have failed recently, and left their staffs unpaid and gear sent to auction. In this age, it’s sometimes not the best choice for winning that is selected, but that which will keep you afloat. It can be more practical for a team to develop a car than can secure points but not truly compete for the front, giving them a decent piece of the financial purse. A realistic effort and budget can gather lucrative points in the middle of the pack, making a team profitable, rather than overspending with the hopes of an occasional podium, where the results wouldn’t cover the financial costs. It can also be better to select a driver who brings along cash, rather than one who may be faster but needs to get paid.

Recently this played out on the newly badged Renault team, when they decided to release tenured driver, the Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado from his contract. Maldonado had been a bit wild in recent seasons, with some spectacular wrecks and many dnfs (hasmaldonadocrashedtoday.com) but he had always brought along millions from the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA. Likely due to the massive drop in oil prices, PDVSA had been recently slow in delivering their pledged payments and Renault cut Maldonado loose.

These types of motivators have had an impact on the lack of American presence on the grid. Manor is the lowest budgeted F1 team and emerged with new principal ownership from bankruptcy just a year ago. Last season they granted American and paddock favorite Alexander Rossi 5 starts behind the wheel. Rossi did well and outperformed his senior teammate on the track. However, once again finances prioritized decisions and when it had been hoped that the Californian would have a regular seat for the Manor team this year; they opted instead to bring in the first ever Indonesian driver in F1, Rio Haryanto. Indonesia is a large and important growing market for motorsports, and it’s understood that with Haryanto, Manor was securing $20 million in additional funding from the state owned natural gas company, and additional Indonesian sponsors are expected. Alexander has been hired in the Indy racing series for 2016 by the Andretti racing team.

Rio Haryanto
Rio Haryanto of Manor Racing

So, while I remain passionate about the drama and action of Formula 1, it’s hard to make the case for Americans to come along at this point. We have one race currently scheduled in the USA, in Austin, along with additional races held in Montreal and Mexico City. While Montreal is considered a fan and driver favorite, the race in Austin is struggling for its life. Attendance started strong a few years ago but has trailed off, and state funding has been withdrawn, threatening the future of the event.

Tags:  F1  motorsport  Racing 

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