Althea BMW Racing Team launch their 2016 bikes in Civita Castellana, Italy
The Althea BMW Racing Team and BMW Motorrad Motorsport today opened the doors of the evocative “Moto dei Miti” Museum, located next to the Althea Racing Department, to host the presentation of the team ahead of the 2016 season.
Thanks to the agreement between General Manager Genesio Bevilacqua and BMW Motorrad Motorsport, Althea Racing will field two BMW S 1000 RR bikes in 2016, entrusting their search for glory in WorldSBK to young German talent Markus Reiterberger and two-time FIM CEV Moto2™ Champion Jordi Torres. Italian rider Raffaele De Rosa will be on board in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup. Dutch engineer Jan Witteveen, a well-known name in the sector, will be charged with the technical direction of the project.
Despite the winter break imposed by the race calendar, the Althea BMW Racing Team has not stopped since the final round of 2015 in Qatar, and their technicians had their first chance to work with technical staff provided by BMW Motorrad Motorsport during two days of private testing in Jerez de la Frontera and further at their home track of Vallelunga.
Markus Reiterberger and Jordi Torres quickly got to grips with their BMW S 1000 RR bikes, leaving the whole team optimistic. Reiterberger, winner of the IDM Superbike Championship, already had the chance to compete in WorldSBK last year as a wildcard entry, riding the BMW S 1000 RR at Magny-Cours and Misano. Grand Prix winner Torres arrives from an extraordinary rookie year in World Superbike, a debut that saw him take his maiden win in Qatar after beating Jonathan Rea across the line on the last lap.
Raffaele De Rosa, who was already a rider with Althea Racing, begins the 2016 season strengthened by the 6 podiums he achieved during the 8 races of the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup last year.
Taking to the stage today were General Manager Genesio Bevilacqua and Technical Director Jan Wittevee, together with Reiterberger, Torres and de Rosa. Michel Fabrizio was also present, due to his role as test rider and manager of the Althea junior squad. The event concluded with the unveiling of the three BMW S 1000 RR bikes that will contest the coming season, seen in their 2016 livery for the first time.
Genesio Bevilacqua - General Manager Althea BMW Racing Team: “I’m so pleased to be able to pair the Althea brand with that of BMW Motorrad Motorsport, as together they form a new reference for BMW for the coming seasons. We know that the task ahead is a significant one and are aware that the competition we will be facing on track will be stiff and well prepared. The precious support of BMW combined with our experience, which has seen us frontrunners in recent seasons of the factory-derived championship, will surely allow us to be competitive right from the first race. We of course expect to need a little time in which to get the measure of the situation and collate the necessary references, but the riders, technicians and engineers that our team brings to the track are capable of being major players and crave the successes that team Althea has enjoyed during its long and glorious history.”
Markus Reiterberger: “I can say that I’ve been in a proper relationship with the BMW S 1000 RR since 2011. We have already won a lot together but to be able to experience the Superbike World Championship for the first time makes me proud and eager to begin. The white and black livery of the Althea BMW Racing Team is very aggressive; I’m excited and proud to wear these colours, which also mean I carry great responsibility. I don’t want to make any predictions for the season, but I admit I’m hungry to win.”
Jordi Torres: “I’ve only recently arrived in the Althea BMW Racing Team, but I already feel part of the family: each and every member of the team is passionate and competent when it comes to bikes and motorcycling and their expectations are high. I tested the BMW S 1000 RR for the first time during testing at Jerez de la Frontera in November and then in Vallelunga and I immediately had great sensations. There is still work to do, but there is enormous potential. Unveiling my bike today was really emotional and I know I’ll definitely have fun with her on track.”