As part of its preparations for the forthcoming Superstock FIM 1000 Cup, which
begins on 17 April at Assen in The Netherlands, the BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock
team decided to enter the SSTK support race at the opening round of the CIV
Italian Superbike Championship at Misano.
It was an encouraging competitive debut for the team in the race held in Misano
Adriatico on 10 April, not only because both riders finished on the podium,
but also because they gathered vital experience and set-up information for
when they return to the Misano World Circuit in mid-June for the corresponding
WSBK round there.
Team riders Sylvain Barrier and Lorenzo Zanetti had qualified their BMW S1000RR
machines on the first and second row of the grid, in second and fifth place
respectively. Frenchman Barrier made a poor start but soon recovered and battled
his way back to the front of the pack to eventually claim second place behind
winner Danilo Petrucci, with whom he will race against throughout 2011 in the
Superstock FIM 1000 Cup.
Italian team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti, meanwhile, rounded off the podium with a
well deserved third place, only a quarter of a second behind his team-mate.
Interestingly, BMW riders also finished in the next two spots, with Ivan Clementi
in fourth and Michele Magnoni in fifth – making it four BMW RR machines in
the top five.
Serafino Foti, Sports Director of the BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock Team
was encouraged by this promising outing at Misano: "Congratulations to Danilo
Petrucci, who was impossible to beat on his Ducati today, although things could
have been different if our boys had made better starts… Still, it was a good
experience for us to compete here as we've learnt lots, and managed to avoid
any major problems or injuries just before our main priority for the season
begins at Assen. Lorenzo Zanetti used his tyres up and struggled with grip
towards the end of the Misano race, while it was encouraging to see Sylvain
make a strong comeback after such a poor start. There are many learning points,
but for us the championship that really counts begins this weekend at Assen."
Having won the 2010 Superstock 1000 FIM Cup with Ayrton Badovini, it will
be hard to repeat what was a near-perfect season for the BMW Motorrad Italia
team, who enjoyed almost total domination of the series, with nine wins out
of ten on the RR. This year, the entry list for the class shows that it is
as popular as ever with a wide range of riders and teams, on a variety of machinery.
There are 29 riders on the provisional entry list for Assen, with BMW, Ducati,
Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha represented on the grid this year. Showing the championship's
truly international status, no fewer than 12 countries will be represented,
with competitors from Hungary, Italy, France, Poland, Switzerland, Romania,
Netherlands, Germany, Australia, South Africa, Slovakia and Argentina all hoping
for championship glory.
Both Barrier and Zanetti scored two podiums each in last year's Superstock
1000 FIM Cup, now they are riding for the BMW Motorrad Italia team, they will
be hoping to emulate Ayrton Badovini's success on the RR. Whatever happens,
the drama in this ten-round championship is always legendary, so don't miss
their first Superstock 1000 FIM Cup race of the year, which begins at 10.30
(CET) and is also the opening race in Sunday's action-packed WSBK program.