Just over a week after the successful Sunday at Aragón circuit in Spain, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team now heads to the iconic “TT Circuit Assen”. Among fans, the Dutch track is also well known as the ‘cathedral’ and will host the third round of the 2013 FIM World Superbike Championship this weekend. Factory riders Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies aim to confirm the potential of their BMW S 1000 RRs by racing at the very front again.
With his double win in Spain, Chaz propelled himself to second in the Riders’ Championship, having collected 63 points in total over the first two rounds of the season. Marco, who has stood twice on the podium so far this year, improved one position in Spain and currently sits fourth with 43 points. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, BMW is second with 79 points.
The BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team with riders Sylvain Barrier and Greg Gildenhuys is also on duty in Assen, tackling the second round of the 2013 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup. The squad had a brilliant start to the season at Aragón, with reigning champion Sylvain winning the opening race on his brand new BMW HP4 equipped with the electronic damping system (DDC).
Chaz Davies: “After my double win at Aragón I am really looking forward to Assen. Obviously it is a confidence booster every time you win, but doing it twice really sets you up for the next races. I am very comfortable now with the RR and how I am feeling on the bike. On top of that, Assen is a circuit I enjoy and one that has been good for me in the past. Back in 2011, I celebrated my first World Championship victory there by winning the Supersport race, last year it was the first time for me to go through to Superpole 3 and I had a pretty decent pace in the dry.
I liked the character of the old Assen circuit a bit more, but it still has the camber in the corners, which is quite special. And obviously there is the history of Assen as well. Every time you go there you feel the tradition. It is a race to look forward to.”
Marco Melandri: “My shoulder was feeling ok in Aragón for most of the weekend. Only towards the end of race two did I start struggling. The shoulder was a bit inflamed so to compensate I stressed the other arm more and as a result I got some cramps. Anyhow, I am quite calm because I have enough time until the next race to cure the inflammation. In the meantime I am continuing with physiotherapy and training in order to be fit in Assen.
“Assen is a nice track and I feel really comfortable there, even if I prefer the old layout which was wider. What really concerns me is the weather. Last year we weren’t lucky with it, so I hope this time it will be good and not too cold. The best thing in World Superbikes is the fact that balances are constantly changing. In Australia, it seemed that Aprilia was unbeatable. Then in Aragón, it changed. For Assen I expect an open race, with Aprilia, Kawasaki and Chaz being very fast. I feel better and I am improving my feeling with the bike. I am quite optimistic that we will not have the same issues as in Aragón.”
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “After the successful race weekend in sunny Spain we are now heading to Assen, where unpredictable weather conditions could play an important role. The Dutch racetrack has been the venue of memorable races in the past, earning the title of being the ‘University of Motorcycling’. The layout, even if it has been modified a few years ago, is technical and flowing. It will be demanding for the riders and for our engineers it will be the perfect playground to consolidate the performance shown so far.
Chaz, after the double win at Aragón, can count on a very good technical package. He and his crew will adapt this base to the requirements of the Dutch track, trying to use 100 percent of the RR’s potential. Marco deserves the important results he is used to getting after the unlucky weekend he experienced in Spain. The racing and the R&D department of the team have worked hard to improve his feeling on our winning RR. Now we are all looking forward to the Assen race.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team): “After Aragón we are very motivated and confident. Of course we know that in World Superbikes each race can have a different result and that our competitors are really strong. So it will not be easy for us to repeat such a success. We need to keep concentrated and work hard to keep our focus on the championship which is just starting and very long. The race and R&D team have done an excellent job. Now we need to enable Marco to compete at the very front and to ride a successful race. The races in Assen are always special. Very often we have to deal with extremely changeable weather conditions. It can change from wet to dry conditions and vice versa very quickly. We hope to have stable weather conditions which allow us to work well.
“In Aragón we had a successful start to this year’s Superstock 1000 Cup. We made our debut with the brand new BMW HP4 equipped with DDC, the electronic damping system which the HP RaceSupport Team and the STK team worked on over the last months. Sylvain did a great job in the opening race, confirming his determination and speed. Now we need to keep this high concentration and work consistently towards our target.”