In 2010 a BMW motorcycle will be back at the ancestral home of road racing – the annual Isle of Man TT Festival. Fans of the German brand will be delighted to see the new BMW S1000RR in the line-up for the Senior TT and Superbike races in the capable hands of 34-year-old German privateer rider, Rico Penzkofer.
Having already made an impact with the BMW Motorrad Motorsport works S1000RR in the Superbike World Championship, a 193 hp production version of the bike has recently been successfully launched, with customers now taking delivery of their new machines worldwide.
The S1000RR is also featuring heavily in various national race series in 2010, such as the British Superbike and Superstock Championships, IDM German Superbike Championship, the CEV (Campeonato de España de Velocidad) Spanish Championship series, and the FIM Superstock 1000 World Championship. However, this will be the first time since Helmut Dähne successfully campaigned his R90S in the production class in the late 1970s that a BMW rider will be entering the main events at the Isle of Man TT.
Penzkofer is well acquainted with the BMW S1000RR, having ridden the bike in German Superbike races and on the unforgiving streets of Macau at last year’s Macau Grand Prix where he finished in a respectable 5th place. He has been a development rider in the S1000RR project and also rode the HP2 Sport boxer in many of the World Endurance Championship races, as the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team gained valuable track experience during the development of the RR.
Last year at the TT, Penzkofer made a strong debut in the two supersport races he contested, achieving a personal best lap of just under 120 mph (200 km/h). With a year’s experience, he is excited by the prospect of having nearly 220 hp of BMW power available to tackle the famous Mountain Circuit.
“To be riding the BMW S1000RR at the TT is a tremendous honor for me and after my debut last year I can’t wait to return to the Mountain Course. Riding the Superbike TT will obviously present a new challenge but the S1000RR is superb and that, combined with my own improved knowledge of the course, should give me a great chance of making an impression. Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus have proved in World Superbikes that the bike is competitive and I hope to do the same at the TT,” said Rico at the announcement of his entry.
BMW first competed at the Isle of Man TT in 1937 and has recorded 30 TT wins, with the majority coming in the sidecar class they once dominated. Last year was the 70th anniversary of one of BMW’s greatest victories – when Geog ‘Schorsch’ Meier rode the R255 Kompressor to victory in 1939 and became the first non-British rider to win the event. However, there is another BMW rider that achieved more recent success at the Isle of Man TT. Dave Morris is the last man to win at the TT riding a BMW, and in 1997, 1998 and 1999, he rode his Chrysalis BMW F650 to victory in the Singles TT.