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  • Judith Pieper-Köhler

(EN) Reiterberger returns to the Superbike World Championship with BMW Motorrad.

In the upcoming 2019 season, BMW Motorrad Motorsport will compete in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) with the new BMW S 1000 RR. This will take place in collaboration with Shaun Muir Racing. The British team headed by Shaun Muir will appear as BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and will be competing with a well-known riding duo: the 2013 Superbike World Champion Tom Sykes (GBR) and the reigning European Superstock 1000 Champion and three-time IDM champion Markus Reiterberger (GER).

The collaboration with Shaun Muir Racing reflects a significant expansion of BMW Motorrad Motorsport’s involvement in WorldSBK. Simultaneously, the successful customer racing programme will continue to operate in numerous other international and national race series. A structure adjustment will take place within BMW Motorrad as a result of this expanded involvement. Marc Bongers, previously Technical Director at BMW Motorrad Motorsport, will become BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director and report directly to the Head of BMW Motorrad, Dr. Markus Schramm.

Within this cooperation, BMW Motorrad Motorsport will be responsible for the development of engine, electronics, chassis and aerodynamics. All other areas of testing and competitive racing are the responsibility of Shaun Muir Racing.

The new BMW S 1000 RR made its public debut at a presentation on 6th November, at the EICMA in Milan (ITA). BMW Motorrad Motorsport is currently developing the motor racing components, which will be used to modify the new superbike for competition at the top level of close-to-production motorbikes.

The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team has chosen a strong rider duo with plenty of experience and talent for the 2019 season. Tom Sykes (GBR) has been competing in WorldSBK since 2008 and was crowned Superbike World Champion in 2013. The 33-year-old has recorded 34 wins and chalked up a total of 108 podiums. His performances in qualifying have also been impressive: Sykes has set 48 pole positions to claim the record in the Superbike World Championship. Sykes will compete with the BMW S 1000 RR for the first time in 2019.

His new team-mate Markus Reiterberger has long enjoyed a close relationship with BMW Motorrad Motorsport. “Reiti” started his international career with BMW in 2011 with the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup. He claimed his first two International German Motorcycle Championship (IDM) titles in 2013 and 2015. In 2013, Reiterberger also scored his first world championship points as a guest rider in the WorldSBK race at the Nürburgring (GER). He completed his first full WorldSBK season in 2016 and caused a stir by claiming fifth place in Thailand. In 2017, Reiterberger decided to return to the IDM and secured his third title there. In the recently-completed 2018 season, the 24-year-old BMW rider was crowned European Champion in the FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship.

Quotes regarding the 2019 WorldSBK season.

Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad: “Motorsport has been an integral feature of the BMW Motorrad success story for nearly 100 years. That is why our international racing activities are extremely important for our brand. Therefore, competing with our new BMW S 1000 RR in the top level of close-to-production racing, the FIM Superbike World Championship, is the logical next step. The 2019 season will help us set a new course for our involvement in the WorldSBK and expand this significantly. We are convinced that our BMW Motorrad Motorsport racing department, together with Shaun Muir Racing and two top riders, Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger, will meet this challenge with distinction.”

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “We are moving up a gear for next season in the Superbike World Championship. In addition to the development of the core components, engine and electronics, we are now also responsible for development of the chassis and the aerodynamics. In both of these areas, development was previously the preserve of our customer teams. We are very much looking forward to working together with Shaun Muir and his team. We must remain realistic when setting our goals for the 2019 season. The BMW S 1000 RR is a brand-new motorbike and there is just a short space of time available for development. This means that our first season will primarily be about developing the bike further under race conditions and making it competitive, as quickly as possible. We intend to continuously improve and then take the next step forward in the battle against the strength of the pure works teams. Of course, the long-term shared objective for BMW Motorrad Motorsport and Shaun Muir Racing is to record some top placings and be involved in the battle for the title. We will have to take it step by step.”

Shaun Muir, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team Principal: “This is a very exciting project for SMR to be involved in. It is quite clear, the focus and dedication from everyone involved, that we aim to be competitive with the new BMW S 1000 RR very quickly. We know, however, that the RR is a brand-new bike and that we have to take step by step, but we all work hard and focus to make this project a successful one. The decision to sign former WorldSBK Champion Tom Sykes, and current European Superstock Champion Markus Reiterberger, reflects the ambition the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team has, in challenging at the front in the Superbike World Championship. Tom joins the team totally focused and full of enthusiasm, ready for this new chapter in his illustrious racing career. Markus returns to the WorldSBK as Superstock Champion, with a strong pedigree of success on BMW Motorrad machinery. The SMR team and BMW Motorrad Motorsport development team are working hard together with the preparation and development of the new Superbike. We are at the stage where both riders will have their initial test in the comings weeks, before further testing in January and February prior to departing for Phillip Island, Australia and round one of the 2019 WorldSBK.”

Tom Sykes: “I am very excited to join the new BMW project in the WorldSBK Championship. I believe that the BMW and Shaun Muir Racing partnership is an outstanding opportunity and understand that we all share the same goals of where we want to be. I am looking forward to the start of the pre-season testing where I will get my first taste of the new BMW S 1000 RR and begin my new challenge and adventure.”

Markus Reiterberger: “I am overjoyed to have the chance to return to the WorldSBK. I am also really happy to be staying with the BMW family, and to be competing for a good and experienced team. I am forward to working with my new team-mate Tom Sykes as well. I have a huge amount of respect for him; he has already been world champion and has been one of the very best for years. It is fantastic to have him as a team-mate. I can still learn a lot from him and I hope that we will be able to work together to return the ‘propeller’ brand to the front. However, we need to be careful not to set our expectations too high. We have a new motorbike and we are in a new team. We just need to try to be improving all the time and make sure that we prepare well for the start of the season. That is our job and if we can all pull together, we will be successful for a long time. I am really looking forward to this new challenge and I am very optimistic. Thanks to everyone who has supported me and given me this new chance in the WorldSBK.”

Source: BMW Motorrad

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