BMW has announced they are leaving World Superbike competition at the end of 2013.
According to their press release, the move comes as part of their company’s “strategic realignment in motorsport.” The release says they plan to strengthen the international customer sports program instead, whatever that means.
Their release also states “BMW Motorrad will now focus on the further expansion of the very successful product portfolio over 500 cc, the expansion of product segments under 500 cc, e-mobility and the development of market potential in emerging economies like Brazil and Asia.” Then, more interestingly: “Only those who act consistently today are well prepared for the challenges of tomorrow.”
Those statements almost sound as if the Germans are going to start producing lower-priced bikes for the masses, and racing doesn’t fit into that program.
Of course, news of the WSBK program’s demise would certainly come as a blow to Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri, but you’ve also got to wonder if BMW is going to follow up with a drop in racing sponsorship worldwide. They’ve certainly been the most successful manufacturer in CSBK’s pro superbike class for the last couple of years, and an end to their sponsorship there would be bad news for Canadian roadracing.
Since entering WSBK in 2009, BMW has taken 11 wins and 33 podiums with their S1000RR superbike.