The 2024 WorldSBK kickoff takes place in the BMW Motorrad Welt in Berlin.
Berlin. 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.
Toprak Razgatlioglu & Michael van der Mark
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.
Garrett Gerloff & Scott Redding
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.
Quotes after the Team Presentation in Berlin.
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.”
Garrett Gerloff (#31 BMW M 1000 RR, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team): “It has been exciting. There has been a really cool energy here at Berlin. It’s great to be in Berlin, it’s really nice to see all the amazing people that work here in the plant, that develop and produce the BMW M 1000 RR that we race. So it’s really cool to have the team presentation here. It has been really nice to see Scott, Toprak and Michael and to get together after a couple of months of holidays and seeing family and friends. I can tell that we are all excited to get back on the track and to start testing again. In just over a month we are going to be racing in Australia. Everything is going to happen really fast from here on but I’ve been doing my part to make sure that I am ready for the season and I am excited to get started. I think we have a really good base now. I have one year behind me with BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team, so a lot of information and I think we can come up with solutions faster than last year if we do have a problem. It is going to be good to go the every track with a higher potential, and I think it can be a really good season. My goal is to work on qualifying and to be a bit better there and that can help me in the beginning of the races and then at the end of the races, when I am strong, I think we can make some real progress and be up front.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu (#54 BMW M 1000 RR, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team): “I am very happy to join the BMW Motorrad family. When I arrived at Berlin on Monday and left the airport I was really surprised because everyone spoke Turkish. Also at the plant, there a so many Turkish employees. I am very happy for this. In general, I am very positive. Especially today, there were a lot of people and I understand that a lot of people like me. A lot of people came here to see me, also many Turkish guys, and a lot of them came from very far away. Everyone can’t wait for the season, and that also goes for me. My focus is now on the season. I realized that the people believe in me, but it is important that you believe in your bike. Many people say that the BMW is not ready to fight for the championship but I believe that my bike is ready to fight for wins and the championship. We just need my setup, because my riding style is complete different. When we have this, we can easily fight for the win. Now I am just focusing on the test next week. It is really important for me. I need to adapt to the bike and I believe that we can fight for the podium and the wins this season. I am excited. I signed with BMW but I am also a part of the family. This is something I saw today again and it is great. I will give more than 100 percent, I will try to win with BMW. Everyone is working hard and this is a great extra motivation also for me. If we keep doing this, we will win the World Championship.”
Scott Redding (#45 BMW M 1000 RR, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team): “It’s good to come here to Berlin. To come into the plant and to see how everything is made is always interesting, seeing the people in action at their work is always good. It’s also very interesting to see where the engines are built and how they do it, so it’s really nice to be here and to witness how everything is made. A launch is also always great, to unveil the colours of the bikes and the suites, together with the team-mates and the teams. Speaking about the coming season, for me it would be nice to have our bike to be more consistently competitive which I think we can do. We’ve had some good changes made and obviously Toprak is coming over. We also have a test team which makes a big difference. I think we are going in the right direction, which is important. It would be nice to stand on the podium again this year and more frequently, and to try to make our bad weekends not so bad and have a good, consistent year.”
Michael van der Mark
Michael van der Mark (#60 BMW M 1000 RR, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team): “It’s nice to start the season, it’s great to be here in Berlin. We all know that BMW is a big company but we got a nice tour through the plant and I must say that it is really impressive. It was also great to see where they prepare the race engines and I am really ready to start the season. I can’t wait to go testing again, I feel one hundred percent fit, I got a new teammate that seems to be really fast – so I am looking forward to it. Like I said, I am fit again, the bike is getting better and better, Toprak is pushing the project even more and I think we want to win races and be on the podium as soon as possible.”