BMW talks MotoGP™ racing

BMW talks MotoGP racing
Friday, 16 March 2012

motogp.com spoke with the President of BMW Motorrad, Hendrik von Kuenheim, at a presentation held in Barcelona last week to find out the more about the possibility of BMW’s future involvement in MotoGP™.

In a press presentation for two new BMW maxi scooter models, the C 600 Sport and the C 650 GT, held at the Hotel Me in Barcelona last week, the President of BMW Motorrad took time out to discuss the possible involvement in the World Championship.

In a bid to modernize the BMW brand, BMW introduced the S1000RR superbike two years ago. Hendrik von Kuenheim explained the decision: "BMW has produced their successful boxer engine for 90 years: It’s the most built motorcycle engine in the world and arguably the most reliable motorcycle engine in the world. However, it gave BMW an image of not being very aggressive, not being very modern or sportive. So a few years ago we decided to introduce a superbike, the S1000RR."

"Immediately it became the benchmark and reference for the fastest, most powerful, and easiest to drive motorbike," von Kuenheim continued. "With it, we have injected some young and sporty blood into the brand of BMW, and it must be supported with activities. That’s why we are in the World Superbike series."

The BMW Motorrad chief talked about the importance of competition for the brand, and how their current racing program is a logical step into MotoGP. "We haven’t won in Superbike yet, but we are close. Once we win we, maybe, will move onto bigger and better things. MotoGP is the most watched motorcycle racing in the world. Next to F1, it is the benchmark for motor racing. But if you look at individual races and the number of spectators attending, such as in Jerez or Assen, there is no race in F1 in the world that even comes close to the number of spectators. So it’s a clear platform for us and we have to think about it. It’s a substantial step."

Regarding BMW’s current support of Suter in the World Championship as a step toward more involvement in MotoGP, von Kuenheim offered: "We are going to see how Mr. Suter does, as this is his initiative. Obviously he gets some support from BMW, but it is his project. It will be interesting to understand watch how it goes and to see the potential of his project."

"I believe with the new rules and regulations that have come into effect now, our engine, with the bore as well as the one liter displacement, is very suited to MotoGP racing. But racing is expensive, so we have to think about it!" concluded von Kuenheim with a smile.

TAGS 2012

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