Germany – Nürburgring

Category: World Superbike (WSBK)


7th – 9th September 2012

12th of 14 race weekends



Munich/Stephanskirchen, 3rd September 2012. Perfectly positioned going into the home race in the Eifel Mountains: BMW Motorrad heads to the Nürburgring (GER) for the twelfth round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship leading the standings in both the Rider and Manufacturer standings. Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport has already claimed six wins this season with factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA). The last race weekend, at the new “Moscow Raceway” (RUS), saw Marco move to the top of the Riders’ Championship, while BMW has led the Manufacturers’ standings since the ninth round of the season in Brno (CZE). Marco and his team-mate Leon Haslam (GBR) have claimed 15 podium finishes so far this year.


Marco secured one win and one second place as the Superbike World Championship made its debut in Russia. In doing so, he leapfrogged Max Biaggi (ITA) at the top of the Rider’s standings. Marco now has 308.5 points to his name and an 18.5-point lead over Biaggi in second place. Leon was on course to podium in both races, but was once again extremely unlucky. In race one he managed to finish sixth and rescued ten points following a collision. Race two ended in the Clinica Mobile after his BMW S 1000 RR was hit from behind at high speed, causing him to crash out. Fortunately he escaped any serious injuries. Leon is sixth in the Riders’ Championship on 180 points. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, BMW now has 361 points and a lead of 26.5 points over Aprilia.


Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport is making sure it is ready for all conditions as it prepares for its home race. The Nürburgring is known for its unpredictable weather. This was in full evidence at last year’s Superbike World Championship event in the Eifel Mountains: the sun shone for the first race, but the heavens suddenly opened shortly before race two. The start was delayed and the race was then abandoned after 13 laps as there was so much water on the track that many of the riders were crashing.



Nürburgring from the rider’s point of view:

Marco Melandri:

“It is great to come to the BMW home round at the Nürburgring leading the championship. However, this may also mean even more pressure, because everybody will expect a good result. I am sure the races will be difficult, because Aprilia will work hard and try to regain the lead. We will see though. Last year was my first time at the Nürburgring and I really like the track. Race one was good for me, I finished second. In race two it was very wet, so it was quite difficult. The track is good fun. It is very technical. The first section is pretty tight, but after that the layout is quite fast and smooth and I think it will suit my riding style. Last year I had a lot of fun and I am sure that this can be the case this year too.


I think that our RR will run well there. If all goes according to plan, I am sure we can be competitive in the races. We have to improve our pace in qualifying, because we still struggle with the soft tyre. But I am happy, I feel good and I am ready to fight again.


We still have six races to go, which is a lot. It is never easy because there are many fast riders and there is always the possibility of mistakes. The last few races have seen a lot of major changes in the championship. You can score many points, but you can also drop points. We need to focus on each individual race and to do our best to pick up some more wins and stay in front.”



Leon Haslam:

“From the result side, I was obviously disappointed at Russia. They were another two races that could easily have been two podiums, but again ended in very bad luck and crashes. From the physical side, I damaged my left shoulder and my left leg and I felt a bit stiff overall. However, I have been recovering at home and also doing some physio, so I should be fully ok for Germany. The Nürburgring has always been a good circuit for me. I had a good result there in 2010 when I finished on the podium. Last year it would have been one of the strongest weekends for us at BMW. We had the pace for victory in both races. In race one, we had an issue with the bike but still a very good pace that would have taken us onto the podium, while race two was the horrible rain-dominated race, in which I crashed.


We did not achieve the results last year, but the bike and I definitely have great potential at the Nürburgring. I am looking forward to returning there this year. Our goal is always to win and we will try to shake off the bad luck we have had this year and get the win that we deserve.”



Nürburgring from a technical point of view:

Andrea Dosoli (Head of Race Operations):

“After the Moscow races we are all looking forward to BMW’s home round. We will arrive there as the leader in both championships, but this will not change our usual approach. We will work race by race, improving the bike and trying to achieve the best possible result. We are all motivated and focused. The circuit has a combination of tight and fast corners, which force the riders and the team to find the right compromise in terms of set-up. This can sometimes be a difficult challenge. Overall, it is a technical track. We must also be ready for any conditions, as the weather could be an issue at the Nürburgring, as we experienced last year.


Leon was unlucky at the last event, but he once again showed his speed and talent. Last year he rode an amazing race at the Nürburgring, so we are confident that he will fight for the top position. Marco and his crew have a clear target and they are very focused on it. Last year, Marco produced a great race considering it was his first time on the German racetrack. He likes it and, in the seat of our powerful RR, he will have more fantastic races. We will all work very hard in order to put in a good performance for ourselves, but mainly for all the BMW people and fans who will be following us at the racetrack.”



Nürburgring from Pirelli’s point of view:

There will be six slick solutions available for the Superbike class that Pirelli will bring to the Nürburgring for the third last round of the season in Germany. Specifically there will be three for the front and as many for the rear also. For the former there will be two SC1 solutions available, the P1280 and the N1159 as the standard SC1 for the 2012 season, and the SC2 P773 which has already been used on various occasions this year. On the other hand, for the rear the riders will be able to choose between a solution in the SC0 range (the P774) and two SC1 solutions, the P1060 as the standard SC1 for 2012 and the R302, an alternative to the SC1 which was already used successfully in many races this year, the most recent being Moscow, and which Pirelli will continue to bring in order to have as many elements as possible from direct comparison with this year’s standard SC1, which will most likely be replaced by the R302 in 2013.


As for the track, there is smooth asphalt and a highly varied climate which is even more accentuated by the forest in which it is nestled. The significant temperature difference between morning and afternoon can even lead to problems with cold tearing that the R302 rear solution is certainly capable of handling.




The Nürburgring is one of the most iconic racetracks in the world. Its legendary status is the result of a long history and the infamous Nordschleife, which at over 20 kilometres in length has been known for decades as the “Green Hell”. The circuit in the Eifel region is the oldest permanent racetrack in Germany. It was opened in 1927, since when it has regularly provided the backdrop to motorsport history. Races were held on the Nordschleife until the 1970s. Nowadays it still hosts long-distance car races, including the famous 24-hour race.


As the Nordschleife had become too dangerous for most series, the Nürburgring’s Grand Prix Circuit was opened in 1984. After several modifications it is now 5.137 kilometres long. The FIM Superbike World Championship made its debut at the circuit in the Eifel Mountains in 1998 and returns this season for the seventh time. The track is nestled in the hilly Eifel landscape, making it a real rollercoaster of a circuit. It boasts fascinating combinations of corners, a wide range of different types of turns, fast sections and zones that demand heavy braking. As such, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport must find just the right compromise in the set-up of the BMW S 1000 RRs.


Another of the infamous perils of the Nürburgring is the unpredictable weather. In early September the Superbike World Championship may be welcomed by late-summer heat – but could just as easily experience cold and rain. The weather is also capable of changing in the blink of an eye, as demonstrated last year: at first it was sunny, until the weather unleashed heavy downpours just minutes before the start of race two, making it impossible to complete the race under regular conditions.


The Nürburgring is located about 80 kilometres south of Cologne in the municipality of Adenau. The region is one of Germany’s motorsport centres: many racing teams and suppliers have set up their headquarters here. A BMW Test Centre is also located at the Nürburgring. As the Nordschleife and the surrounding countryside provide ideal conditions, the region has been an important test location for BMW since the 1960s. In the meantime, almost all the other well-known manufacturers have followed this example. One of the stand-out features is Nürburg Castle, which looks down upon the circuit.


Facts and figures:



Nürburgring / 9th September 2012

Start time Race 1 (local/CET)

12.00 hrs / 12.00 hrs

Start time Race 2 (local/CET)

15.30 hrs / 15.30 hrs

Lap/Race distance

5.137 km / 102.740 km (20 laps)


6 left-hand and 10 right-hand corners



Race 1: Carlos Checa, Althea Racing, 38.59,779 min.

Race 2 (13 l.): Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing Team, 29.49,337 min.

Fastest race lap 2011

Carlos Checa, Althea Racing, 1.55,971 min.

Data 2011:


Top speed: 277.6 km/h (Marco Melandri, race 1)

Longest section at full throttle: 8.5 sec / 532 m

Fastest corner: ADVAN-Bogen, 6th gear, 244 km/h

Maximum deceleration: 286 km/h – 54 km/h




Marco Melandri

Leon Haslam

Date of birth



Place of birth

Ravenna / Italy

London / Great Britain





Ravenna /Italy

Smalley / Great Britain

Marital status




1.66 m

1.73 m


60 kg

67 kg

WSBK debut

2011, Phillip Island (AUS)

2003, Brands Hatch (GBR)

Race starts



Pole positions






Podium finishes



Fastest race laps



Best World Championship placing

2nd (2011)

2nd (2010)

WSBK points 2012





Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport




Munich and Stephanskirchen (GER)

WSBK debut

2009, Phillip Island (AUS)

Race starts


Pole positions




Podium places


Fastest laps


WSBK placings

4th (2011), 311 points

6th (2010), 201 points

6th (2009), 141 points

WSBK points 2012

361 (Manufacturer) / 488.5 (Team)


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