Straight after the race weekend at the Dutch track, Assen, BMW Motorrad factory rider Chaz Davies (GBR) flew directly to Munich, Germany. There the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team rider spent the afternoon in the BMW Group wind tunnel. With the next round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship being held at Monza, Italy, Chaz worked on aerodynamically optimizing his riding position on his BMW S1000RR. This is the same process that his team mate Marco Melandri (ITA) completed last year when he rode his first season on the RR. With simulated speeds up to 150 mph (240 km/h), Chaz tried several different positions and body angles in order to find the ones that minimize the drag as much as possible on his six foot (1.83 m) frame.
“The riding position is a main factor for the aerodynamic efficiency of the overall package of rider and bike,” says Stephan Fischer, Technical Director BMW Motorrad Motorsport. “The positions of the head and the upper body, of elbows, knees and feet can have an enormous influence on the drag, and subsequently on lap times. This goes in particular at a race track like Monza with its long and ultra fast straights. Of course, there is not one position that is the optimum for all riders, because it all depends on so many different individual factors, beginning with height and stature. The intensive work in the wind tunnel enabled Chaz to find out what riding position is the best for him personally. We did the same with Marco last year and it helped him a lot to achieve improved aerodynamic efficiency on his RR. We are convinced that we now will have a similar positive result with Chaz.”
“It was a really interesting afternoon,” Chaz confirmed. “When testing on a track, you try new development parts and different settings but you are not working on your body. So it was great to experience in a stable environment with my riding position, to move myself around on the bike, to have elbows and shoulders in different positions and to then see in the data what difference it makes. I have learnt that I have to try and get myself inside the bike sooner on the exit of the corner in order to reduce the drag and be faster on the straights. It was good to see what difference that will make if we can improve that for the next race. Especially on a track like Monza, the aerodynamic efficiency is very important because every lap we are wide open for much longer than any other circuit on the calendar. Having the right riding position helps me to make best use of the powerful BMW engine on the straights.”