The BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team has announced that it will participate in the 2014 Superbike World Championship in the new EVO category, with rider Sylvain Barrier on the BMW S1000RR. The team is composed of the same technical experts who have had success in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup, both with Ayrton Badovini and Sylvain Barrier. The 26-year-old French rider has won the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup title for the past two consecutive years and made his WSBK debut last October at the final World Superbike round of the year in Jerez. He will be the only rider on the Italian team, which includes Gerardo Acocella as Team Director and Rossano Innocenti as Crew Chief.
According to FIM the new EVO, “this class will follow the FIM Superbike technical regulations for all chassis, suspension and brake components. On the engine and electronics side, however, these motorcycles will follow the present FIM Superstock rules. The price cap on brakes and suspensions will be the same as Superbike.”
After encouraging results obtained at the first test outing a few weeks ago at the Portimão circuit in Portugal, everything is now ready for the BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team to travel to Australia, where it will participate in the official tests on February 17 and 18, after which Sylvain will contest the first round of the World Superbike EVO Championship at the Phillip Island circuit from February 21-23.
“We are approaching this season with a very skilled team, in both technical and human terms, made up of people who have been working together for years and who have achieved great success,” says Andrea Buzzoni, General Manager BMW Motorrad Italia. “Rossano Innocenti has won six of the past seven editions of the Stock 1000, whereas Gerardo Acocella, after starting with the Stock, was an important member of both the BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team from 2010 to 2012 and the BMW Motorrad Motorsport Team in 2013.
“Sylvain is with us for the fourth consecutive year and we have watched him grow, complementing his unquestionable talent with outstanding professionalism. We believe that he is a well-rounded rider for the EVO, because he knows our motorcycle virtually top to bottom. Our expectations for the season are very high – justifiably so considering our extremely competitive motorcycle, team, and rider. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank BMW Motorrad Motorsport for supporting our team and to welcome our new partner, M&T Racing di Piero Guidi, which will be handling the logistic and technical aspects of the team.”
Also looking forward to beginning this season in the new Superbike EVO category is Team Director Gerardo Acocella, who says, “We have solid experience and an excellent understanding of the BMW S1000RR, and we will also be able to count on the support of BMW Motorrad Motorsport, which will take care of developing the electronic aspects. Ours is the same team that has achieved great results in the Superstock 1000, and Sylvain Barrier will be our only rider. I know Sylvain very well and I think that he can get great results. This experience will be a first for all of us, considering that we will be competing in the new EVO category. We have a bike that has proved to be competitive in both Superstock and Superbike, and it’s up to us to adapt it in the best possible way to accommodate the regulations of the new category, by leveraging our experience and our technical skills in order to compete at the highest level.”
The final word goes to the team’s sole rider, Sylvain Barrier, who comments, “I’m really glad I stayed with the team with which I have obtained two titles in the Superstock 1000. I know both my team and the bike very well, and I’m really happy to work again with BMW for the fourth consecutive year. It will be a new championship for me and for the whole team, but I can rely on their great experience and on a very competitive bike. Honestly, I don’t know how the competition will shape up in the EVO, but in any case our goal is to fight for the first positions. I want to thank Andrea Buzzoni and BMW Motorrad Italia for bringing me into the Superbike competition, and obviously my team, which has worked hard this winter to prepare my new bike. I have already tested it at Portimão and I can say that it is already at a good level, but now it’s up to me to understand how to take full advantage of its great potential.”