German manufacturer bringing big names and big support into WorldSBK
Making their official return to the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, BMW Motorrad Motorsport have announced they are teaming up with Shaun Muir Racing for 2019, as they welcome Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger to their all new team.
SMR last worked with BMW in 2016, but the return of the German manufacturer is coming in a big way, as they are providing full factory backing with their new BMW S 1000 RR beast. BMW Motorrad Motorsport will be responsible for the development of engine, electronics, chassis and aerodynamics. Whilst all other areas of testing and competitive racing are set to be the responsibility of SMR.
For British rider Tom Sykes, it will be his first time with a different manufacturer since 2009 and the 2013 World Champion has an exciting challenge ahead of him: “I am very excited to join the new BMW project in the WorldSBK Championship. I believe that the BMW and Shaun Muir Racing partnership is an outstanding opportunity and understand that we all share the same goals of where we want to be. I am looking forward to the start of the pre-season testing where I will get my first taste of the new BMW S 1000 RR and begin my new challenge and adventure.”
Alongside Sykes will be German Markus Reiterberger, fresh off the back of securing the 2018 FIM European Superstock 1000 Championship. Winning the title with a BMW machine, Reiterberger has experience with the S 1000 RR, and will be looking forward to tackling the 2019 model, but he is keeping his feet firmly on the ground: “I am really happy to be staying with the BMW family, and to be competing for a good and experienced team. I am looking 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 world champion and has been one of the very best for years. However, we need to be careful not to set our expectations too high. We have a new motorbike and we are in a new team. We just need to try to be improving all the time and make sure that we prepare well for the start of the season. I am really looking forward to this new challenge and I am very optimistic. Thanks to everyone who has supported me and given me this new chance in the WorldSBK.”
Keep up with all the progress from the winter testing at MotorLand Aragon and Jerez with highlights and interviews, all found on the WorldSBK VideoPass.