Citing “long-term strategic realignment of the brand,” BMW will withdraw its factory participation from the FIM Superbike World Championship at the end of this season.
In a press release, BMW Motorrad General Director Stephen Schaller said the company will focus on the further expansion of its successful over-500cc models, growth of the under-500cc segment, e-mobility and development of emerging markets, such as Asia and Brazil.
“Only those who act consistently today are well prepared for the challenges of tomorrow,” said Schaller. “BMW Motorrad will remain involved in motorsport, and in doing so, we will focus on the international customer sport in all its facets.”
BMW entered SBK in 2009 with riders Troy Corser and Steve Martin. The team has since won 11 races and scored 33 podium finishes. Last year, the team’s most successful season to date, Marco Melandri finished third in the championship. The Italian has won three races this year, including Race 1 last weekend at Moscow Raceway. A double winner in Spain, Melandri’s teammate, Chaz Davies, also led the Moscow event and eventually finished second.
“The team is a very professional and motivated group of people, and I am sure they will continue to do everything to end the season on a high note,” said Andrea Buzzoni, general manager of BMW Motorrad WSBK. “I am sorry about the decision, but I understand the strategic decision-making of the company.”