BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team WSBK Motorland Aragón Preview

BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team WSBK Motorland Aragón Preview

10.04.2013: Spain – Motorland Aragón. 12th – 14th April 2013 2nd of 15 race weekends

Spain – Motorland Aragón.

12th – 14th April 2013
2nd of 15 race weekends


 Almost seven weeks have passed since the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team kick-started its 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship campaign with a podium at Phillip Island, Australia. The world championship now returns to Europe for the second round of the season, which takes place next weekend (12th to 14th April) at “Motorland Aragón” in the northeast of Spain.
 

Works rider Marco Melandri (ITA) was, through no fault of his own, involved in a crash in the first race of the season-opener, before finishing third to claim a place on the podium in race two. He currently lies fifth in the Riders’ Championship on 16 points.


His new team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) finished fourth at the first attempt in his maiden race on the BMW S 1000 RR. The Brit then came home 17th after a crash in the second race. He goes into the second race weekend of the year tenth in the overall standings on 13 points. BMW is second in the Manufacturers’ Championship with 29 points.
 

The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team used the long break after the opening event of the season to complete further tests. The team travelled to Jerez, Spain, for a series of tests in March and last week. The squad spent a total of four days working on further optimising various aspects of the RR.


At the first Jerez test, Chaz was on his own while Marco recovered from an operation on his shoulder, which he underwent after the race at Phillip Island. At the second test, both Chaz and Marco rode. Both riders have fond memories of Aragón: Marco claimed a win and a second place there last year, setting the fastest lap time in both races. Chaz finished third there to make his first appearance on the FIM Superbike World Championship podium.

 
The 2013 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup also gets underway at the “Motorland Aragón” race weekend. The BMW Motorrad GoldBet Team will line up with reigning champion Sylvain Barrier (FRA) and new team member Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) as it looks to defend its title. This season, the team will be equipped with the new BMW HP4 for the first time.


 

Aragón from the rider’s point of view:

Marco Melandri:


“I am looking forward to be in Aragón. I am very optimistic. For sure it will not be an easy race, but I am confident that I have fixed the shoulder problems I suffered from. I don’t feel hindered anymore when riding, even if I am still lacking resilience. We worked a lot after the Australian round in order to close the gap to Aprilia and we have done a very good job.

 
I like Aragón; it is a great track. It is a very technical and fast circuit. It will be the ideal venue to verify the work we have done. My only wish is that we finally will have good weather.”

 

 

Chaz Davies:


“Aragón is one of the best tracks in the calendar, a great venue and one to look forward to. The circuit offers a good mixture of everything. You have uphill and downhill sections, short corners and fast corners. It is difficult to set the bike up as the circuit varies so much. In addition, it will be different to ride there compared to last year as we are racing there three months earlier. That changes a lot, temperature-wise, which has an effect in some areas like how much grip you have.
 

Aragón is a special place for me because back in 2011 I won there in Supersport which was quite unexpected and last year it was the venue of my first podium finish in the Superbike World Championship. With that in mind, I know Aragón works well for me and I am excited to go there. The positive results from last week’s test in Jerez also make me confident. We will push straight away from Friday morning on and hopefully on Sunday we will see the results.”


 

Aragón from a technical point of view:

Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):


“We are looking forward to Aragón with a lot of interest. After the test completed in Jerez last week, we are now eager to see the result of the hard work carried out by the whole race and R&D team in Italy and Germany on this different track – where we have won in the past but where our competitors are very strong. We are still sweating remembering the thrilling races we had there last season.
 

The circuit in Aragón offers a bit of everything. It has tight corners, fast and flowing sections, hard braking and a long straight where we will be able to get the best from our powerful BMW engine. It is a demanding track for the tyres because the asphalt is abrasive, and also a demanding track for the riders because of its unique characteristics.


To find the right bike set-up will be an exciting challenge, especially considering that the weather conditions could be cooler than in the past as the race has been moved from summer to the middle of April. After such a long break we are all looking forward to some nice action on the track and we are confident that our riders will be in the thick of the action in this fantastic show we call World Superbikes!”



Aragón from a sporting point of view:

Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):


“Aragón is the first European race after a long break and will also be the opening race for the Superstock team. The results from last week’s Superbike test in Jerez and the Superstock test in Aragón were really positive. In addition, Marco has no pain to his shoulder after testing and Chaz’ feeling with the RR is getting better and better with each outing.


Both of our works riders got positive results last year in Aragon, and even if Marco will not be one hundred per cent fit, we are still really confident. We’ll do our best from the very beginning of the weekend to get the best possible results.”

 

Aragón from Pirelli’s point of view:


The new Pirelli 17 inch tyres return to Spain, to “Motorland Aragón”, where last year they were tested for the first time by the Superbike riders on the Monday following the race weekend. The track has rather demanding asphalt for the tyres because it is quite abrasive.


For this reason, a compromise is needed between the stability and rigidity of the compounds and the grip they are able to produce when hot. As the temperature in April will be lower, Pirelli brings a few development solutions which should be an excellent compromise between tyre grip and hardness. For the Superbike class Pirelli will provide three slick solutions for dry on the front and just as many for the rear.


These are joined by the rear qualifier, the intermediate solutions as well as the wet solutions. On the front Pirelli has chosen standard slicks with an SC1 solution in a soft blend and the SC2 standard solution in medium blend which are joined by a development solution (S41) in a soft blend as an alternative to the standard SC1 (R426) intended to reduce cold tearing and to provide greater mechanical stability, a good compromise between the SC2 for solidity and the SC1 in terms of grip.
 

For the rear the riders will also be able to choose from three solutions, the standard SC1 (R828) medium compound already used at Phillip Island and the standard SC2 hard compound which is capable of providing greater resistance even in the event of low temperatures.


The third option comes in the form of the R829, a development solution that, in terms of compound hardness, falls about halfway between the standard SC1 and SC2 and which was designed to combat the significant wear which is typical on this circuit. Also, for the first time the new intermediate tyre (S44) will be making an entrance on the scene, available only for the rear on this occasion.


Pirelli decided to redesign the new Diablo Wet starting from scratch. The new tread design is halfway between the slick solutions and the rain solutions, and was designed to improve performance on a wet/damp track and to make sure riders can finish the race in completely dry track conditions.

 

Background:


Located in a sparsely populated region in the north-east of Spain, surrounded by a sweeping and picturesque hilly landscape, is one of the most modern motorsport centres in the world: “Motorland Aragón”. It can be found about three hours’ drive west of Barcelona, near Alcañiz – a town of 16,000 residents in the autonomous region of Aragón. Alcañiz enjoys a long motorsport tradition: between 1965 and 2003, races were regularly held on a street circuit there. 
 

“Motorland Aragón” was opened in 2009 and soon became a fixture in international automobile and motorcycle racing. It has welcomed the MotoGP series every year since 2010. The FIM Superbike World Championship made its debut in Aragón in 2011. The circuit is also used all year round for testing by many racing teams.

 
For many riders, Aragón is one of the best circuits on the calendar. The layout is regarded as being extremely technically demanding. Ultra-quick sections lead into very tight corners, with this combination complemented by flowing combinations of turns. This varied layout demands a precise set-up.


 It features uphill and downhill sections, blind crests and downhill corners, which are reminiscent of the track in Portimão, Portugal. The combination of turns seven and eight is based on the infamous “Corkscrew” at Laguna Seca (USA).  The riders can give free rein to their powerful engines in the fast sections, including the main straight, which is almost 1.8 kilometres long.

 
One key point on the circuit is the final turn: here, the riders must get on the gas early in order to take momentum up the hill and onto the start/finish straight, at the end of which is one of the track’s many overtaking opportunities. The asphalt offers plenty of grip and is very rough.

 
Danilo Coglianese-  photo BMW

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/bmw-motorrad-goldbet-sbk-team-wsbk-motorland-aragon-preview---109586.html

10.04.2013 / MaP

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