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Winter testing – Phillip Island

Category: World Superbike (WSBK)

13th to 15th February 2012

Phillip Island, 15th February 2012. The time for waiting is over: From 13th to 15th February most of the teams competing in the FIM Superbike World Championship tested at Phillip Island (AUS). It was the first battle on track in 2012 for the teams. During the private test, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport continued its preparation for the 2012 season after having tested on Spanish soil in Valencia at the end of January. Factory riders, Marco Melandri (ITA) and Leon Haslam (GBR), completed a total of 1,954 kilometres of testing on the 2012 race version of the RR. The weather was mostly sunny and warm. The air temperature reached 32 degrees Celsius, the track temperature 54 degrees Celsius.

While during the test in Valencia Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport focused on verifying the latest developments it has made over the winter, in Phillip Island the team worked on the set-up of Leon’s and Marco’s S 1000 RRs. The crews worked on several chassis set-ups mainly in order to achieve performance and consistency. On top of this, the team worked on the engine management, setting up torque delivery and engine brake for the characteristics of the Phillip Island circuit.

The team has drawn a positive conclusion from the test. Both crews were able to evaluate important set-up changes that are not possible to be tested over the course of a race weekend. On the chassis side, the team found a rear end set-up that it will use for the race. Leon has already achieved a quite stable base set-up. During the official Infront test on Monday and Tuesday he will focus on race performance and do the fine tuning. Marco is still investigating the complete range of setting up the RR before concentrating on race performance.

The team’s technicians will now evaluate the data collected over the last three days and prepare for the official Infront test.

Marco Melandri:
Bike: BMW S 1000 RR, best overall lap time: 1:33.0 min
“We have worked hard in many directions on this test. The first day was pretty successful and we had a good base to work with. But unfortunately we were struggling to make more steps forward. We still have some issues with the front of the bike, which we tried to solve by making some changes. I still need to get more confidence in the front of the bike. When it was hot, it became more difficult for me. But anyway – we need to be fast in every condition. Unfortunately we also lost three hours on the last day, when I crashed and we had to rebuild the bike. But now we have the time to analyse the information we collected and try to improve the bike at the next test. We still have two more days of testing before we go into the first race weekend, and I hope we are going to have good weather then.”

Leon Haslam:
Bike: BMW S 1000 RR, best overall lap time: 1:32.2 min
“The test has been good and really quite positive. It was nice to be back on the bike in warm weather. We have come here with the base set-up of our new bike from Valencia, and it worked pretty much straight away. Over the three days we had time to figure out the base set-up of the new bike, and to find the settings for this specific track, as we are racing here next week. Of course it is important to go fast around here, but it is also about exploring a little bit so you can make big steps in both directions to be able to understand what the bike is doing. I think we learned quite a lot. Also we had time to work on electronic strategies and we improved them a fair bit. The lap times were pretty good, we improved the consistency and were just trying a set-up in both cooler and hot conditions, which is quite important around here.”


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