BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team test their endurance
BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, the new factory team in the FIM EWC this season, get to the 24 Heures Motos as Suzuki Endurance Racing Team’s direct rival for the world title.
The Belgian team managed by Werner Daemen confess they hadn’t foreseen this status in their game plan for BMW’s return to endurance racing. Not that it has made any difference to their work on the BMW S 1000 RR.
At last week’s two-day private test at Le Mans, BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team carried on working to optimize their machine for 24-hour races.
“We’ve taken our unexpected position in the championship on board,” says technical director Steven Casaer, “but the bike’s reliability remains our strategic focus. We’ve never raced more than 12 hours straight with the bike. During the two-day test, we ran one of our machines non-stop to really get some mileage on the engine; we didn’t touch a thing, except for the tyres and fuel. We also tested a lot of new specs on the Dunlop tyres and the electronics. That’s important, because the electronics have been one of the weak points of our bike in long-haul racing. We’re still getting to grips with the machine, and our 2nd place in the championship wasn’t part of the plan. We’ll have to try to make the most of the situation and stay competitive while taking fewer risks. We’re also working towards a more cohesive team, with more interaction between the French-speakers and the German-speakers. And we’re trying to optimize aspects we can control, like refuelling. The team worked on this recently at Zolder: we did 47 pit stops in one half-day to get to under 25 seconds for a refuelling stop with a brake replacement.”