Feb 5, 2013
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Sebastien Gimbert (7).
Eupen, Belgium - 05 February 2013: Team Thevent has joined forces with Michelin to contest the Italian Superbike Championship in 2013. SÃ©bastien Gimbert will lead the team's assault on the championship, aboard the HP4 variant of the BMW S 1000 RR that took the 35-year-old rider to two French Superbike titles.
For both the team and Michelin the foray into the Italian Championship is an extension of the successful partnership that has been forged over the past three seasons in both the Endurance World Championship and the French Superbike Championship.
New regulations that come into effect this season reduce the level of tuning allowed in the Italian Superbike Championship, as well as limiting the number of engines used during the season to just three per rider. The new regulations suite both Gimbert and BMW well, allowing the Frenchman to race the BMW HP4 in the same state of tune as the S 1000 RR he's campaigned for the last three seasons in the French Superbike Championship.
Gimbert will get his Italian Championship underway in March, with a three-day test at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, before returning to Italy for the opening round, which takes place on 6-7 April at Mugello.
"I'm happy to be racing in Italy this year, I think it's the best step for me and I can't wait for the season to start. I like the Italian circuits and, living where I do in the South of France, the border is just a few kilometres away. The introduction of new regulations in the Italian Championship for this season means that we will use a BMW HP4 in the same state of tune as the bike I raced in French Superbike the last three seasons, and with which we already have a lot of experience. The fact that I will have the same team around me as in EWC is another bonus, as we already work well together. I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike, as I haven't ridden since Albi back in September, but I've been working hard on my fitness over the winter so I'm all set for the new season."
Piero Taramasso: Michelin
"Italy benefits from a high level, well-structured series which provides riders with a stepping stone to the highest levels of motorcycle racing, such as MotoGP and the World Superbike Championship. Open to foreign riders, the CIV grid provides many spectators and television viewers who watch the live race broadcasts with an exciting show. So Michelin is delighted and confident through this new partnership with BMW into CIV. It is a good opportunity for Michelin to demonstrate the performance and the quality of its tyres. Moreover, we have been working for many years with SÃ©bastien Gimbert, in World Endurance and in French Superbike, so we trust him to win the Italian Championship. We know that the motorbike is performing, that Seb has great racing experience, he knows the Michelin tyres very well and he knows Michelin's team. So he is in very good conditions to play at the front of the grid."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"We have had a successful partnership with Michelin over the past three years, taking wins in the Endurance World Championship and two French Superbike titles together. This foray into Italy is an extension of that partnership, which we both hope will add another national title to our respective records. It will be an interesting project, as we have never raced in Italy before, but I'm confident that both SÃ©b and the team will be competitive over the five round series. As for expectations; in reality we don't know what to expect, but we have a championship winning package, so that must be our aim even in our first year."
2013 CIV (Campionato Italiano VelocitÃ ) Calendar
15-17 March Pre-season Test Imola, Italy
06-07 April CIV Round 1 Mugello, Italy
25-26 May CIV Round 2 Vallelunga, Italy
15-16 June CIV Round 3 Misano, Italy
27-28 July CIV Round 4 Imola, Italy
21-22 September CIV Round 5 Mugello, Italy
For more information and additional high resolution images please visit the BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent website at .