WorldSBK: Gerloff Hoping Imola Is As Similar To U.S. Tracks As It Looks

WorldSBK: Gerloff Hoping Imola Is As Similar To U.S. Tracks As It Looks

© 2023, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By BMW Motorrad Motorsport:

BMW Motorrad Motorsport returns to historic Imola circuit with the WorldSBK – Leon Haslam on the second BMW M 1000 RR of the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team.

The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari at Imola will host the FIM Superbike World Championship for the first time since 2019.

Leon Haslam temporarily returns to the WorldSBK as a substitute rider for the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team.

Imola is new territory for Scott Redding, as well as Garrett Gerloff and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team, while Loris Baz is already familiar with the track.

Munich. BMW Motorrad Motorsport is returning to historic Imola (ITA) with the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). The seventh round of the 2023 WorldSBK season will take place at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari from 14th to 16th July. The WorldSBK has regularly visited Imola in past decades, most recently in 2019. Leon Haslam (GBR) will ride the second BMW M 1000 RR alongside Scott Redding (GBR) in the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team.

Haslam is no stranger to BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the WorldSBK. The 40-year-old Briton has competed in a total of 316 WorldSBK races between 2003 and 2022, finishing as runner-up in the championship in 2010. In 2011 and 2012, he raced as a BMW Motorrad Motorsport factory rider with the BMW S 1000 RR, earning a total of eight podium finishes. In the current 2023 season, Haslam competes with the ROKiT BMW Motorrad British Superbike Team aboard the BMW M 1000 RR in the British Superbike Championship (BSB), where he has already achieved six podium finishes, including two at the recent round at Snetterton (GBR).

Imola is a track with a rich tradition, but as it has not been on the WorldSBK calendar in recent years, it is still unfamiliar to some. The ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team is already familiar with the circuit from the past, as are Haslam and Loris Baz (FRA). However, Redding has not raced there before, and Garrett Gerloff (USA) will also make his Imola debut, as will the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team.

Quotes ahead of the Imola round.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “First of all, many thanks to Leon for being available at short notice to be with us at Imola. We know each other well from the past, where we celebrated success together, and this season he has returned to the BMW Motorrad family in BSB and is familiar with the new BMW M 1000 RR. He also has a lot of WorldSBK experience, and we are confident that he will quickly get back up to speed at Imola. After his crash at Donington, Tom Sykes is on the road to recovery and was discharged from the hospital on Sunday after a week, and we all send him our best wishes. Michael participated in a track day last week, however a return for Imola would still be too early, and we have jointly decided that he will sit out this weekend, and then we will reassess the situation. Now we are excited about Imola. Scott showed a clear upward trend in Donington, which was confirmed by his fourth-place finish in the second race. Garrett was also fast and consistently strong there and we want to continue that at Imola. However, a major topic will be the high heat expected over the weekend which can be challenging for humans, machines, and tyres.”

Garrett Gerloff, #31 BMW M 1000 RR, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team: “It’s going to be an interesting weekend, I think. It’s a track that I’ve never been to and it looks like it could be technical. But I feel good learning new layouts and this circuit being mainly a left-hand corner dominant one with some elevation changes and being tighter, it kind of reminds me of the tracks I raced in America a lot. I’m hoping this connection is a solid one and it does help me to learn it a bit faster, but I think there’s going to be a few people that haven’t been there or at least haven’t been there for a while. I just hope it will be a good weekend and we can keep improving like we did at Donington.”

Scott Redding, #45 BMW M 1000 RR, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “Imola is new track for me so it’s another element to the weekend, I always like new tracks! I hope for a good weekend and to keep the momentum from Donington.”

Loris Baz, #76 BMW M 1000 RR, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team: “It has been a tough season and tough couple of weekends with completely no luck unfortunately at the last two rounds, which is a shame, because I feel strong again on the bike. I just need to have a calm weekend, so I hope Imola will be that one. I’m sending my best wishes again to Tom Sykes and Michael Ruben Rinaldi who were involved in the crash at Donington and I hope they can come back soon. For me, I’m really happy to come back to Imola. It’s a track that I always loved a lot and I have good memories there. It’s really an old school circuit with an atmosphere that is so different than the rest of the venues. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m sure we can be fast there. I have experience on this track, I know the layout and everything. I just hope we can put all of our bad luck behind now and have a nice and calm weekend on the BMW M 1000 RR. I know the guys in this team never stop working incredibly hard and I feel it’s definitely time to get our normal mojo back and rediscover the pace that we had in the beginning of this season.”

Leon Haslam, #91 BMW M 1000 RR, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “It’s a fantastic opportunity. Obviously I have a lot of history with Imola. We took the championship in 2010 down to the last round at Imola. I have a lot of history from this circuit and it’s fantastic to ride again for BMW Motorrad Motorsport. We are riding the BMW M 1000 RR in the UK so I’m looking forward to work with Shaun Muir and all the guys from the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. We will see. I have no real big expectations, I just want to try to enjoy and hopefully we can get some good information and some good results.”

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