Written by Sam Sims
The 2013 BMW Motorrad factory World Superbike team wrapped up a two-day winter test Wednesday at the Jerez circuit in the south of Spain.
The riders – Marco Melandri and newcomer Chaz Davies – evaluated the new developments on the BMW S1000RR. All together, Melandri, who finished third in the 2012 World Superbike Championship behind the now-retired Max Biaggi, and Davies completed 149 laps (about 659 kilometers) at Jerez, though the changing weather reduced track time. This was also the 2011 World Supersport Champ’s first outing on the S1000RR.
Besides getting a shakedown in on the S1000RR, the BMW Motorrad team also got some laps in on Jerez, which returns to the 15-race World Superbike calendar for 2013. The last time the series competed at Jerez was in 1990.
Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad S1000RR Superbike) says: “Unfortunately we could not ride that much because of the weather. The track was never really dry or really wet, it was always in between so we could not do as many laps as we planned but had to wait in the garage for some time.
“We hope to have more luck and better weather at the next test. Anyway, it was nice to be at the race track, to meet up and work with the team again. It was also good to test with my new team-mate Chaz for the first time. It is interesting to know what he thinks about our RR. As a person, I think he is a good guy and I feel that we will get on very well.”
Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad S1000RR Superbike) says: “It was great to test my RR for the first time and to be back on the track again. Unfortunately we didn’t have the weather we were hoping for; it would have been nice to have consistent conditions no matter if wet or dry but that wasn’t the case so it was a little bit challenging. I think I need to start steadily; I wouldn’t be on the pace after one test even in perfect conditions. We need to keep working and hopefully we will have better luck with the weather at the next test.
“My first impression of the bike is very good. When I tried the bike for the first time, there were no surprises at all, which is always nice. The RR is very well balanced; it has a lot of power and a lot of options to control the power. So far, we have mostly worked on finding my riding position. The BMW Motorrad team is really great. I knew a few of the guys before but not too many of them so it was good to meet everybody. I have to learn a lot of new names with so many people in the garage but I am sure that I will get there soon. Everybody is so friendly and welcoming and obviously good at their job, so it is a pleasure to work with the team.”
Serafino Foti (BMW Motorrad Team Manager) says: “We were not so lucky with this test; the weather did not help us at all. We had a lot of things to work on. Our riders did different jobs: Marco tried some new components to improve the bike, but unfortunately it was impossible to evaluate all available material.
“For Chaz it was the first test with the BMW family. He used it to become familiar with his RR and to find the right settings and riding position for the bike. We hope to have better conditions at the next tests, because it is very important to keep up with our work program. Regardless, the test was good for consolidating the new team structure. All the guys have done a great job and there was a positive and confident atmosphere in our garage. We are very motivated to start the new season.”
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