Category: World Superbike (WSBK)


29th – 31st July 2011

9 of 13 race weekends



Munich/Stephanskirchen, 25th July 2011. The FIM Superbike World Championship circus moves on to Great Britain. The iconic Silverstone circuit will host the ninth round of the 2011 season this weekend (29th to 31st July). The Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport will be back to full strength: following his injury-enforced break, works rider Troy Corser (AUS) will make his race comeback alongside team mate Leon Haslam (GBR). Troy broke the ulna and radius in his left arm when he crashed at in the second race at Motorland Aragón (ESP) and was unable to race in Brno (CZE).

The time-honoured circuit in Silverstone has been the subject of extensive modifications over the last two years. The riders in the FIM Superbike World Championship are already familiar with the revised track layout through the new “Silverstone Arena”, having experienced it last season. They will now also move into the imposing new pit and paddock complex, the “Silverstone Wing”, which was opened in May this year. In the process of the modifications, the start-finish straight has been repositioned, meaning the riders must get used to a slightly new layout.

Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport has prepared for the coming race weekend with two test days at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz (GER). Leon and BMW Motorrad test rider Steve Martin (AUS) were in action there on 18th and 19th July. Together with the team, they came up with setup suggestions and technical solutions for Leon and Troy’s BMW S 1000 RRs, which will be implemented in Silverstone.

Having completed eight of the 2011 season’s race weekends, Leon is currently fifth in the Riders’ Championship on 137 points, while Troy is fifteenth on 55 points. In total, the pair has already scored 192 points for the Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport this season. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, for which only the manufacturer’s best result at each race counts, BMW is fourth on 173 points.

Leon Haslam:
“Silverstone is always a special race for me, as we are racing in England. I am looking forward to going back there. Last year it was a new track for everyone. I really enjoy the characteristics of the new layout. It is a fast, flowing circuit, a bit like a mix of Monza and Assen. In some sectors the setup of the motorcycle is a major factor.

In addition, thrilling racing is always guaranteed at Silverstone. Taking the BMW S 1000 RR there will be exciting – especially as we are racing in front of my home crowd. I hope we will get some good weather and can’t wait to go there.”

Troy Corser:
“After my injury in Aragón, I am now really looking forward to jumping on my bike again. I have been back in physical training for the last couple of weeks, and I do not feel any pain in my arm. I rode dirt bikes just to check how fit I am, and all feels good.

Our performance in Silverstone was not too bad last year, unfortunately I crashed in the second race. The bike worked well there – you obviously need a fast engine, this should suit us well. Leon and Steve Martin tested a few things at Lausitzring in preparation for the Silverstone races. I am optimistic that the test results will help to improve the bike further.

The new pit complex looks impressive on TV, but the track still looks quite bumpy. The new position of the start-finish straight now leads into a quite tight and bumpy first corner. I think it is even more important now to start the races from the front of the grid.”

Bernhard Gobmeier, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director:
“There is always a great atmosphere in Silverstone. You can feel the long tradition of racing at every corner. We are looking forward to the new pit lane, which was only opened this year. Silverstone is always a bit special for our two riders: as an Englishman, Leon is racing at his home event, and it is Troy’s second home. We are pleased to welcome Troy back on board after his injury.

We completed some testing in preparation for the race weekend, at which we tried out some new ideas and technical solutions for Silverstone. We think we found good solutions during this test. We want to follow on from the good performances we put in during the first part of the season.”

Silverstone is a quiet town with 2,000 residents in the English county of Northamptonshire. The closest large cities are Northampton – about 25 kilometres to the north – and Oxford – about 50 kilometres to the south. However, the heart of British motorsport beats in this rural area. The “Silverstone Circuit” is not known as the “Home of British Motor Racing” for nothing.

The iconic circuit was built after the Second World War on the grounds of an RAF base set up in 1943. The first car race was held there in 1948, with the very first race in the Formula One World Championship staged in Silverstone in 1950. The FIM Superbike World Championship first came to Silverstone from 2002 to 2007. After a two-year break, the series returned to the circuit in 2010 following extensive modifications of the track.

In 2010 the revised layout took the Superbike World Championship riders through the new “Silverstone Arena” for the first time, which was designed specifically for the needs of motorcycles. An 800-metre long, stadium-style sector was added between the Abbey and Brooklands corners. Renowned corners including Maggotts, Becketts, Copse and Stowe were retained.

The imposing new pit and paddock complex, the “Silverstone Wing”, was opened in May 2011. It is located between the Club and Abbey corners and has resulted in the start-finish straight being moved accordingly. As a result, the riders must get used to a new pit lane entrance and exit this year, although they are actually familiar with the circuit layout from last season’s race.

Built on a former airfield, the “Silverstone Circuit” is a very flat circuit. This means that the engine performance of the BMW S 1000 RR is particularly important here, as there are several long straights. The circuit also offers some long corners, in which one side of the tyres will be put under particular strain. For this reason, a sensitive throttle response also plays a major role. The new layout also features some stop-and-go corners, in which the circuit throws up a mixture of quick and slow, technical corners. The circuit is physically very tiring and has some tricky bumps, which must also be taken into consideration when setting the bike up. One place in which these bumps are lurking is the new opening corner, Abbey.

For BMW Motorrad works rider Leon Haslam (GBR), Silverstone is the second home race of the year in Britain. However, Leon’s team-mate Troy Corser (AUS) also feels at home here, as he spends most of his time with his family in England.


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