The 2024 WorldSBK kickoff takes place in the BMW Motorrad Welt in Berlin
Posted on Jan 17, 2024 by George Penny
About five weeks before the season opener at Australian Phillip Island, BMW Motorrad Motorsport presented the 2024 FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) line-up to the public in Berlin on Wednesday.
The two teams, the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team, as well as the four BMW Motorrad WorldSBK factory riders Toprak Razgatlioglu, Michael van der Mark, Scott Redding, and Garrett Gerloff, unveiled their BMW M 1000 RR superbikes for the WorldSBK 2024 for the first time.
The event took place at a special location, in the new BMW Motorrad Welt at the BMW Motorrad Plant Berlin. This plant is the heart of the BMW Motorrad production and the birthplace of the BMW M 1000 RR.
On Tuesday, Razgatlioglu, van der Mark, Redding, and Gerloff were guests at the BMW Motorrad Plant, and during an exclusive autograph session, the employees had the opportunity to personally meet their racing colleagues from the BMW Motorrad family. On Wednesday, the four BMW Motorrad WorldSBK factory riders gained closer insights into the production of the bikes, including their racing machines, during a tour of the plant.
The actual team presentation took place afterwards in BMW Motorrad World, the new “Home of the Brand” in Berlin, opened in autumn 2023. The official start of the 2024 WorldSBK occurred with the unveiling of the BMW M 1000 RR superbikes, which Razgatlioglu, van der Mark, Redding, and Gerloff will ride in the upcoming season with the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team.
A special feature of the team presentation in Berlin was that in addition to invited guests, fans also had the opportunity to witness the event live on-site. Many of them seized the opportunity, secured the coveted free tickets for the event, and could personally interact with the four BMW Motorrad WorldSBK factory riders during the subsequent autograph session.
In preparation for the 2024 season, BMW Motorrad Motorsport, the two teams, and the riders will be back on the track soon. The next test sessions will take place at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, on January 24th and 25th. The first race weekend of the season is scheduled from February 23rd to 25th at Phillip Island.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director:
“First of all, I would like to thank everyone involved in the organisation. It was an absolutely cool event here at BMW Motorrad Welt. It was very nice to show the team managers and riders what we do here in Berlin. We haven’t done this in this form before. The atmosphere among all involved was fantastic, and that is also extremely important for performance because we have this one team mentality. The presentation itself in BMW Motorrad Welt was also very successful. I am confident for the new season. We still need a few tests; last year, we didn’t necessarily have the best conditions but we have prepared a lot of things. Now there is not much time left until Phillip Island. Although the first two events take place on tracks that haven’t necessarily been our strong suit in the past, I am still optimistic that we will have a good start, carry this positive energy into the first races and through the entire season.”
Shaun Muir (Team Principal ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team):
“First of all it is an outstanding venue for such a presentation. It think it really captures the spirit of what BMW Motorrad are trying to achieve here so I am super proud to be part of that. The tour around the plant was sensational. A big round of applause to all the guys, everyone in the factory; they really welcomed us. Moving on to the championship as such, I think it is absolutely clear that the combination of Michael and Toprak brings some special qualities. I think that is something we are really looking forward to working with. Already we can see what Toprak requires in terms of a package and a bike. It is a little bit different, not an awful lot, we just need to steer in a slightly different direction to give Toprak what he needs. And I say that in terms of letting him amplify his strengths which is hard on the brakes, corner entry, balance on the bike, something we know the BMW M 1000 RR can work well with. We want to put ourselves in a strong position, we want to compete for the podium in Australia. Can we get a podium? It's a tough question, but Toprak’s personal aims are that he thinks he can and we give him all the support to do that. Michael has missed large parts of the past two seasons, and he does not underestimate what he is up against but he is definitely up for that challenge. I feel that Toprak can bring a lot of strengths out of Michael. I am looking forward to seeing that because we saw how good Michael can be when things go well. The bike is getting better, there is a development team behind us. From where the project started in 2019 to where we are now is night and day. I hope we can take advantage of that and get our rewards.”
Michael Galinski (Team Manager Bonovo action BMW Racing Team):
“The team presentation was truly impressive. Many people attended, and it was very interesting at the BMW Motorrad plant and in the BMW Motorrad Welt. It was my first time at the plant itself, and it was fascinating to see the engine department and how all the motorcycles are assembled. It was great to take a behind-the-scenes look and also to present ourselves here as a team. We are very happy with our rider duo. They are two real top riders. Scott is the Vice World Champion, Garrett had a very strong second half of the season last year. Our goal is to move further forward, and with the BMW Motorrad family, this is certainly possible this season. So much manpower has been added that we are really happy now. Of course, we still need a bit of time, but we are confident that we will move forward this year.”