BMW Motorrad Motorsport has confirmed its second rider for the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship will be 29-year-old former MotoGP rider Marco Melandri (ITA). He will ride the second BMW alongside Britain’s Leon Haslam (28). Melandri become available after Yamaha’s decision to pull out of World Superbike competition at the end of this season.
BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Bernhard Gobmeier says, “We are really looking forward to working with Leon and Marco. I am convinced we will have arguably the strongest rider’s line up in the Superbike World Championship field. We are delighted to have two riders who are both hungry and experienced for the coming season. That is the next important step for our team.” Gobmeier adds: “Marco has performed brilliantly this season, even during difficult periods. He impressed us in his first season in the championship, and we are pleased to be able to welcome him into our team.”
There’s been no word from the Troy Corser. He will turn 40 this November and so this may be the end of his racing career which includes two World Superbike Championships (1996, 2005). If he doesn’t continue to race, it is hoped he will continue in a development capacity with BMW Motorsport. His knowledge of the bike and team would be invaluable.
Profile: Marco Melandri
Date of birth: 7th August 1982
Place of birth: Ravenna (ITA)
Place of residence: Ravenna (ITA)
Family status: Engaged
Height: 5′ 5″ (1.66 m)
Weight: 132 lbs. (60 kg)
Hobbies: All kinds of motorsports, cycling, music
First bike: Malaguti Grizzly 50ccm
First race: 1989, Mini-Bikes, Cattolica (ITA)
Career highlight: 250ccm World Champion (2002), 2nd MotoGP (2005)
World Superbike Championship record: 22 races, 12 podium finishes, 3 wins, 5 second and 4 third places, 1 pole position, 3 fastest race laps