In the upcoming 2019 season, BMW Motorrad Motorsportwill compete in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) withthe new BMW S 1000 RR. This will take place in collaboration withShaun Muir Racing. The British team headed by Shaun Muir will appearas 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 MarkusReiterberger (GER).
The collaboration with Shaun Muir Racing reflects a significantexpansion of BMW Motorrad Motorsport’s involvement in WorldSBK.Simultaneously, the successful customer racing programme will continueto operate in numerous other international and national race series. Astructure adjustment will take place within BMW Motorrad as a resultof this expanded involvement. Marc Bongers, previously TechnicalDirector at BMW Motorrad Motorsport, will become BMW MotorradMotorsport Director and report directly to the Head of BMW Motorrad,Dr. Markus Schramm. In addition, BMW Motorrad Motorsport and BMW GroupMotorsport will increase their use of synergies. The objective is tobundle competencies from automobile and motorcycle racing, especiallywith regard to commercial and logistical topics.
Within the cooperation with Shaun Muir Racing in WorldSBK, BMWMotorrad Motorsport will be responsible for the development of engine,electronics, chassis and aerodynamics. All other areas of testing andcompetitive racing are the responsibility of Shaun Muir Racing.
The new BMW S 1000 RR made its public debut at a presentation on6th November, at the EICMA in Milan (ITA). BMW MotorradMotorsport is currently developing the motor racing components, whichwill be used to modify the new superbike for competition at the toplevel of close-to-production motorbikes.
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team has chosen a strong rider duo withplenty of experience and talent for the 2019 season. Tom Sykes hasbeen competing in WorldSBK since 2008 and was crowned Superbike WorldChampion in 2013. The 33-year-old has recorded 34 wins and chalked upa total of 108 podiums. His performances in qualifying have also beenimpressive: Sykes has set 48 pole positions to claim the record in theSuperbike World Championship. Sykes will compete with the BMW S 1000RR for the first time in 2019.
His new team-mate Markus Reiterberger has long enjoyed a closerelationship with BMW Motorrad Motorsport. “Reiti” started hisinternational career with BMW in 2011 with the FIM Superstock 1000Cup. He claimed his first two International German MotorcycleChampionship (IDM) titles in 2013 and 2015. In 2013, Reiterberger alsoscored his first world championship points as a guest rider in theWorldSBK race at the Nürburgring (GER). He completed his first fullWorldSBK season in 2016 and caused a stir by claiming fifth place inThailand. In 2017, Reiterberger decided to return to the IDM andsecured his third title there. In the recently-completed 2018 season,the 24-year-old BMW rider was crowned European Champion in the FIMSuperstock 1000 European Championship.
Quotes regarding the 2019 WorldSBK season.
Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad: “Motorsporthas been an integral feature of the BMW Motorrad success story fornearly 100 years. That is why our international racing activities areextremely important for our brand. Therefore, competing with our newBMW S 1000 RR in the top level of close-to-production racing, the FIMSuperbike World Championship, is the logical next step. The 2019season will help us set a new course for our involvement in theWorldSBK and expand this significantly. We are convinced that our BMWMotorrad Motorsport racing department, together with Shaun Muir Racingand two top riders, Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger, will meet thischallenge with distinction.”
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “Weare moving up a gear for next season in the Superbike WorldChampionship. In addition to the development of the core components,engine and electronics, we are now also responsible for development ofthe chassis and the aerodynamics. In both of these areas, developmentwas previously the preserve of our customer teams. We are very muchlooking forward to working together with Shaun Muir and his team. Wemust remain realistic when setting our goals for the 2019 season. TheBMW S 1000 RR is a brand-new motorbike and there is just a short spaceof time available for development. This means that our first seasonwill primarily be about developing the bike further under raceconditions and making it competitive, as quickly as possible. Weintend to continuously improve and then take the next step forward inthe battle against the strength of the pure works teams. Of course,the long-term shared objective for BMW Motorrad Motorsport and ShaunMuir Racing is to record some top placings and be involved in thebattle 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 SMRto be involved in. It is quite clear, the focus and dedication fromeveryone involved, that we aim to be competitive with the new BMW S1000 RR very quickly. We know, however, that the RR is a brand-newbike and that we have to take step by step, but we all work hard andfocus to make this project a successful one. The decision to signformer WorldSBK Champion Tom Sykes, and current European SuperstockChampion Markus Reiterberger, reflects the ambition the BMW MotorradWorldSBK Team has, in challenging at the front in the Superbike WorldChampionship. Tom joins the team totally focused and full ofenthusiasm, ready for this new chapter in his illustrious racingcareer. Markus returns to the WorldSBK as Superstock Champion, with astrong pedigree of success on BMW Motorrad machinery. The SMR team andBMW Motorrad Motorsport development team are working hard togetherwith the preparation and development of the new Superbike. We are atthe stage where both riders will have their initial test in thecomings weeks, before further testing in January and February prior todeparting for Phillip Island, Australia and round one of the 2019 WorldSBK.”
Tom Sykes: “I am very excited to join the new BMWproject in the WorldSBK Championship. I believe that the BMW and ShaunMuir Racing partnership is an outstanding opportunity andunderstand that we all share the same goals of where we want to be. Iam looking forward to the start of the pre-season testing where I willget my first taste of the new BMW S 1000 RR and begin my new challengeand adventure.”
Markus Reiterberger: “I am overjoyed to have thechance to return to the WorldSBK. I am also really happy to be stayingwith the BMW family, and to be competing for a good and experiencedteam. 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 worldchampion and has been one of the very best for years. It is fantasticto have him as a team-mate. I can still learn a lot from him and Ihope 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 ourexpectations too high. We have a new motorbike and we are in a newteam. We just need to try to be improving all the time and make surethat we prepare well for the start of the season. That is our job andif we can all pull together, we will be successful for a long time. Iam really looking forward to this new challenge and I am veryoptimistic. Thanks to everyone who has supported me and given me thisnew chance in the WorldSBK.”