May 23, 2011
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Troy Corser (11) in action at Monza.
Munich/Stephanskirchen, 23rd May 2011. The Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport is travelling overseas: round five of the 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship takes place at "Miller Motorsports Park" near Salt Lake City (USA). The schedule there always runs one day later than other events: the first Free Practice will begin on Saturday (28th May), with the races themselves being held on Monday (30th May). The reason for this is "Memorial Day" in the United States: the last Monday in May is always a day on which the US remembers soldiers who have fallen in battle.
The Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport has already picked up 130 World Championship points on the first four race weekends of the season. In the Constructors' Championship, for which only the best result in each race counts, BMW is currently in fourth place on 101 points. In the Riders' Championship, works rider, Leon Haslam (GBR), is in sixth place with 84 points, while team mate Troy Corser (AUS) is in eleventh place on 46 points.
Following the last race weekend in Monza (ITA), BMW Motorrad Motorsport spent two days testing in Misano (ITA). The two works riders, Troy and Leon, as well as test rider, Steve Martin (AUS), enjoyed perfect weather conditions there. The team worked on some updates for the coming races. It also used the two days to prepare for the race weekend in Misano, which is next up on the calendar after Salt Lake City.
"Salt Lake City is always a great race. It is fantastic to ride in the USA, particularly on 'Memorial Weekend' when there is a magnificent atmosphere there. The circuit itself is quite different and the layout offers a good mixture of everything. It is a circuit on which you have to fight and it is really difficult to ride. I enjoy going there and am pretty excited to ride the BMW S 1000 RR there.
The test in Misano was good and we were able to work through an extensive programme. We also found a good set-up for the track there. That is important, as the next race weekend after the USA takes place in Misano. We were right up there at the front in terms of lap times, particularly on the race tyres. In general, we got an awful lot done there. My broken toe is fine again. We had a few days off that I spent with training and it all will be fine in the US."
"I hope that on the back of two solid results in Monza we can really push and go for the podium in Salt Lake City. Last year we had a few minor issues there, which held us back slightly. But now the bike feels a lot more balanced and I am hopeful we can do better this time around.
I enjoy riding at this circuit. It is quite technical and fast and similar to Assen and Monza in some respects. So for sure I am looking forward to getting out there and seeing what we can do."
Bernhard Gobmeier, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director:
"Salt Lake City is an interesting circuit. We ride at a high altitude there. That is a good thing for us, as our BMW S 1000 RR has more performance than other bikes. The altitude should not have a particularly negative effect on our bikes.
Also, we have carried out a lot of work on the chassis in the meantime. We had a very promising test in Misano, at which we worked our way through an extensive programme. As a result, we are travelling to the USA full of confidence."
The "Miller Motorsports Park" is one of the most modern motorsport facilities in North America. It is located a 30 minute drive from Salt Lake City, the capital of the US state of Utah. The city on the east coast of the "Great Salt Lake" has around 180,000 residents and is, like the entire state of Utah, regarded as the centre of the Mormon church.
The "Miller Motorsports Park" was opened in 2006. Since then, it has regularly hosted American motorcycle series and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). A large motorsport centre has established itself around the 4.907-kilometre circuit. In the "Performance Training Center", motorsport enthusiasts can improve their skills before marvelling at some of most spectacular racing cars in the world in the "Larry H. Miller Museum".
The FIM Superbike World Championship has visited the "Miller Motorsports Park" since 2008. The races there traditionally take place on "Memorial Day", the last Monday in May. This day of remembrance dates back to the American civil war. On this day, people visit cemeteries and memorials, and the US flag is flown at half mast until midday. Another major motorsport event traditionally takes place on "Memorial Weekend" in the USA: the infamous Indianapolis 500 car race, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
A special factor in Salt Lake City is the high altitude of about 1,350 metres above sea level. At this altitude, engine performance is particularly important. Grip is also in short supply on this racetrack. The bike must be set up specifically to generate as much mechanical grip as possible. Another challenge is the number of changes of direction in the infield, in which the motorcycle must react perfectly.