Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Aug 27, 2013

BMW's Davies And Melandri Had Very Different Experiences Last Year At Nurburgring

eni FIM Superbike World Championship: Chaz Davies (19).
Munich/Milan, 27th August 2013. After the summer break, the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship enters its final stage with BMW Motorrad’s home round. The iconic Nürburgring (GER) will host the tenth of a total of 14 rounds this weekend (30th August to 1st September).

BMW heads to the Eifel Mountains third in in Manufacturers’ classification with 276 points. This year, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR) have so far claimed five victories and a total of ten podium finishes with their BMW S 1000 RRs. In the Riders’ classification, Marco is currently fourth with 221 points, followed one place back by Chaz, who his fifth with 180 points. Chaz has fond memories of the Nürburgring. It was the scene of the Welshman’s first ever victory in the Superbike World Championship. Last year, he won the second race after finishing third on the podium in race one.

In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team rider Sylvain Barrier has his first “match point” at BMW Motorrad’s home round. The Frenchman has won five of the seven races contested this year on his BMW HP4. He tops the Riders’ classification with a lead of 36 points over his closest rival and has the opportunity to seal the title with races to spare this weekend. BMW also leads the Manufacturers’ classification, with a gap of 26 points to its closest rival. Sylvain’s team-mate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) will race for the first time at Nürburgring. After getting acquainted to the challenging circuit, he will also have his sights set on a strong result.

Nürburgring from the rider’s point of view:
Marco Melandri:
“I really like the Nürburgring. It is a fast and flowing track and, apart from the first corners which are too tight, it fits very well with my riding style. Unfortunately I don’t have good memories of last year’s races, but this year will be different and the past doesn’t count. I really enjoyed the break and it was very important to take some time off, to have some rest and to train for next weekend’s races.”

Chaz Davies:
“The summer break was good. The first week I took a holiday and went to the South of France; then the last two weeks I spent at home, training. The weather was good and I had the chance to relax a bit, so now I am recharged and looking forward to the Nürburgring. It is a famous and tricky circuit. It is technical with many different challenges and many different styles of corners, which makes it one of the more exciting tracks. It always takes a while on the race weekend to become clean and to lay down the bike rubber on Friday. Last year, we had quite a hot race day and I remember that in the second race it was particularly slippery, but it seemed to suit me quite well. Last year, the Nürburgring was fantastic. I was third in the first race and then I took my first win in race two. That was a great weekend; it was my first double podium as well in World Superbikes. So something last year seemed to click, and this year I hope for a repeat of that.”

Nürburgring from a sporting point of view:
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“The summer break we had over the last weeks has been very useful to recharge the batteries. In September, we will have three race weekends very close together. That will be very challenging for the team and we need to be recovered and fully focussed to do our best. We are working hard for the race at the Nürburgring, which is also our home race, and we are very confident because our riders like this track. Last year, Marco was leading the race and then unfortunately fell. Chaz did very well on this track last year, winning one of the two races and finishing on the podium in the other. We therefore expect a positive result this weekend. In any case, we will have to collect as many points as possible if we want to close the gap to our competitors at the top of the overall standings.

In the Superstock Cup, even though Sylvain is leading with an advantage of 36 points, we need to maintain a cool head and our focus. Sylvain and the team are doing very well and we must continue this positive trend at the Nürburgring.”

Nürburgring from a technical point of view:
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“We are heading to the Nürburgring after the summer break, which has been an opportunity not only for all the guys in the team to recharge their batteries, but also to fix the issues we experienced during the last race and to prepare intensively for BMW Motorrad’s home race. Last year, we arrived at the Nürburgring as championship leaders but we did not achieve what we had expected. This year, we go there without this pressure and with the clear motivation of doing well. We are confident, not only because of the performance our package has shown so far, but also because our RR has worked well on this track in the past.

The race track is a combination of tight and fast, flowing sections. The chassis set-up has to be the right compromise, considering the low grip level experienced in the past. We are looking forward to seeing how the development done during the season has improved the performance of our machine on this technical track. Both riders like the German track and have achieved important results there in the past, so we are sure that all the fans and the BMW guys at the event will enjoy the races.”

Nürburgring from Pirelli’s point of view:
From a tyres point of view, the track is currently characterized by a very slippery – and therefore poor grip – surface. Beyond this aspect, riders must also always take into consideration the strong climatic variety which is even more accentuated by the forest in which the circuit is placed. The difference of temperatures, and the significant differences between morning and afternoon, can also give rise to phenomena of cold tearing. This is why, despite having decided to take the SC0 which provides better performance in terms of grip compared to the other compounds, Pirelli brings two solutions in SC1 compound which are most protected in case the temperatures were lower.

In the Superbike class, riders will have three front slick solutions and the same for the rear. For the front, Pirelli brings the two solutions used in all rounds of the 2013 season, the SC1 in range (R426) in soft compound, ideal for low external temperatures and/or medium harsh tracks, and the standard SC2 (R982) excellent for high external temperatures because it guarantees a solid tread strip. To these must be added a third new specification in SC1 compound, the S283, never brought to the track before, and that compared to the standard SC1 should offer greater robustness. At the rear, after the absence in Moscow and Silverstone, the standard SC0 R1261 is back. This slick solution has a soft compound, ideal for tackling smooth asphalt and high temperatures. To run alongside there will be two SC1: the new development R1431 tyre brought for the first time at Imola and used by all the riders that lined up on the grid in Russia and Silverstone. It is a tyre designed with the aim of offering more resistance to tearing, but equal grip to the SC1 in range (R828), the latter available at the Nürburgring and already present in the first three rounds and at Imola and Silverstone.

BMW Motorrad’s home event takes place on one of the most famous circuits in the world: the Nürburgring, in the Eifel region of Germany. It was opened in 1927 and is the oldest permanent racetrack in Germany. At over 20 kilometres in length, the infamous Nordschleife hosted Formula One races until the 1970s. It is known around the world as the “Green Hell” and is nowadays the venue for automobile endurance events, including the famous 24-hour race. Most series, including the Superbike World Championship and Formula One, now race on the Grand Prix circuit, which was opened in 1984. This track has been the subject of multiple renovations and modifications in recent decades. The Superbike World Championship made its first appearance here in 1998.

The track is nestled in the hilly Eifel landscape, making it a real rollercoaster of a circuit. The technically demanding circuit offers a mixture of fascinating combinations of corners, a wide range of different types of turns, fast sections and zones that demand heavy braking. The surface is very smooth and as it is surrounded by forest, the temperature of the asphalt can fluctuate enormously depending on the time of day. The riders and teams are faced with the difficult task of finding the right compromise in the set-up of the bike. Another of the infamous perils of the Nürburgring is the unpredictable weather, which can change dramatically in the blink of an eye.

The Nürburgring is located about 80 kilometres south of Cologne in the municipality of Adenau. The region is one of Germany’s motorsport centres: many racing teams and suppliers have set up their headquarters here. A BMW Test Centre is also located at the Nürburgring. As the Nordschleife and the surrounding countryside provide ideal conditions, the region has been an important test location for BMW since the 1960s. In the meantime, almost all the other well-known manufacturers have followed this example. One of the stand-out features is Nürburg Castle, which looks down upon the circuit.
Top 5 This Week