Just two days after the 2011 season finale, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport is already at work preparing for next year’s FIM Superbike World Championship. The team tested the further-developed and, in many areas, optimized 2012 BMW S1000RR at Portimão in Portugal. With sunshine and warm temperatures the conditions were ideal and the factory squad was able to collect important data and information with next year’s RR.
Modifications have been made, for instance, to the frame geometry and the fairing. For example, the fairing at the rear has been shortened and modified according to the new 2012 production RR design. The front fairing is slightly steeper compared to the 2011 bike in order to optimize the aerodynamics and riders’ ergonomics. A new radiator, adapted to the modified geometry and body parts, has been installed for better thermodynamics. The 2012 RR also features a new engine spec which improves rideability and low end torque. Additional efforts have been made for optimizing the weight balance and to improve ergonomics.
“It was a positive test day,” said BMW Motorrad factory rider Leon Haslam. “The new engine spec is a progress; you can feel a difference there. We now need to push more in that same direction. The main thing we were working on today was the chassis set up. The new bike needs to be set up a little bit differently than the 2011 one. I am confident in that area, too. Overall, I am glad to be back testing, looking for next year. We do not have to go out and race but can only focus on improving the bike. That is always good.”
“We were waiting for this day eagerly, as for the first time we went out on the track with both a new rider, Marco Melandri, and a new spec of our RR,” commented BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Bernhard Gobmeier. “We put a lot of work into the developing of this bike aiming to improve it in several areas. The feedback of both riders was exactly how we expected it to be. Overall, this was a very positive test and a confirmation of all the hard work of everybody in the team.”
Marco Melandri was also happy with his first test day and reported many positive impressions. He used the test to get acquainted with the new team and his new working environment.
The collected data will now be analyzed at the team’s facilities at Munich and Stephanskirchen for further development steps. The team will also conduct additional tests in the next few weeks. The 2012 season starts officially with the first race on February 26, 2012 at Phillip Island in Australia.