BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Phillip Island, 25/02/2015, FIM Superbike World Championship
The BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team and Sylvain Barrier made a solid start to the 2015 FIM Superbike World Championship, earning finishes of 15th and 12th respectively to collect points in both races for the brand new BMW S 1000 RR.
A much-hyped season kick off When Facebook, Twitter and other social media streams light up during night time in Europe with hashtags such as #WorldSBKreturns, and status updates displaying throttle-grip hands and chequered flags, then you know the winter wait is finally over. Those dedicated fans that stayed up throughout the night to watch the action were rewarded with two fantastic races, which were decided by just tenths of seconds.
Monday and Tuesday were intense enough and gave a first indication of the strength of the 2015 grid, with the official test at Phillip Island. Sylvain Barrier found Turn 11 to be a tough one to master, losing grip during both the test and during the free practice session on race weekend. It was a part of the track the Frenchman knows well, and one he felt lucky to walk away from unhurt. One year earlier, Barrier broke his pelvis in a heavy fall at that very spot.
“Turn 11 is undoubtedly the most difficult of the Phillip Island track,” said Barrier. “Many riders crashed in this same corner. You accelerate through it, but the asphalt is slightly bumpy and the bike tends to slide unexpectedly, without giving you a chance to save it. The Phillip Island track is one of the most beautiful on the Superbike calendar and I really like it. I don’t have any particular problems riding Turn 11 but it is obviously a point of the track that requires maximum concentration.”
Come Sunday’s race, Barrier had the tricky corner down to a tee – as well as the rest of the track – to collect five important points as a drastically redesigned Championship began.
The Phillip Island track is a classic on the eni FIM Superbike World Championship calendar, and the perfect place to get the 2015 season underway. There was added significance too as the Championship celebrates its 25th year this season, and Sunday’s races also marked the start of the second year of the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy.
In between the final day of the test and the first day of practice of the new season, the Superbike stars had a couple of days of free time. Travelling to the other side of the world is a great opportunity to take in some stunning landscapes – especially if you’re a rider who is more used to seeing his surroundings fly by in a blur at 300kph!
“Australia is a beautiful country and I’m always happy to come here and race,” Barrier reflected. “Unfortunately between the tests and the races I don’t have much free time and when I’m not at the track I try not to think about the racing and instead try to relax, to lessen the pressure. I like going to the sea to surf or swim. Usually I wake early and run a few kilometres, to keep myself in shape. I also like taking the car and going to see the most beautiful sights on the island.”
Next stop for the World SBK circus will be a brand new adventure. From March 20th to 22nd, the second round of the year will be held at a brand new track: The Chang International Circuit in Eastern Thailand, located 40 kilometres from Buriram.