BMW Sport Boxer
Photos and text courtesy
of BMW AG
New BMW "Sport Boxer"
This is the first photo of the new BMW
"Sport Boxer", which is a super-lightweight Superbike
based on the new R1200S (wBW feature article) and which
will be raced by BMW at the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans
motorcycle race on April 21, 2007. Here's a
translation of the German press release:
On April 21, 2007 the starting signal falls to
the "24 Heures Moto", the legendary 24 Hours
of Le Mans Motorcycle Race in Le Mans, France. Everything will
be as it was in the past. The last race was run
with BMWs 50
years ago as a road race with a BMW motorcycle
works team at the start.
BMW will use an R1200S for the Endurance
World Championship race with the Sportboxer, due to the capacity
limit of 1200cc for the motorcycle in the open class.
The motorcycle will be ridden by BMW experienced
professional racers. The team consists of Stéphane Mertens, Thomas Hinterreiter and Rico Penzkofer,
as well as Marcus Barth as a spare racer.
In 2007 season, the team will be at four 24 hours
races. Beside the
"24 Heures Moto" in Le Mans,
the team will race the 24 hour endurance race at Barcelona
on July 7-8, Oschersleben on August 11-12 and Magny
Cours (Bol d'Or) on September 15-16.
It is unclear whether or not a lighter weight R1200S
Sport Boxer will enter production.
UPDATE: BMW Wins LeMans!
BMW Motorrad returned to world championship
motorcycle racing with impressive results this weekend
at the grueling Le Mans 24 hour race in France,
culminating with a win in its class and a highly
impressive 16th overall on the modified R 1200 S sports
Despite a difference in horsepower compared with
their rivals, BMW Motorrad Motorsport team riders Thomas
Hinterreiter, Rico Penzkofer and Marcus Barth hustled
the flat-twin around the 4.18-kilometre Bugatti circuit,
entertaining 90,000 sun-soaked spectators with daring
late-braking maneuvers and impressive speed through the
Throughout the 24 hours and 776 laps of the race, the
bike’s twin-cylinder engine never missed a beat.
Considering that the BMW R 1200 S has only had one
shakedown test – and that most of the top teams didn’t
suffer any serious misfortunes or retirements --
finishing 16th overall was a tremendous result and one
that will give the whole team a huge boost for the
forthcoming season, according to Markus Barth.
“This was an amazing result and it’s largely due to
the way the whole team works together,” said the German
rider who had originally been the substitute rider until
an injury to Stéphane Mertens meant that Barth got the
ride at Le Mans.
“All three of us put in very close and consistent lap
times and that made us very competitive. I am very happy
with this result because, before the race, I thought
that we’d do well to finish in the top 20, so to get
16th is super. I want to thank all the mechanics
and everybody involved in the race effort because
they’ve all played an important part in our success.
Considering we were down on horsepower, I think we’ve
done really well. I had no problems at all during
the race apart from a bit of a sore neck, but I’m
looking forward to celebrating this success with the
rest of the team.”
This was a view shared by Barth’s teammate Thomas
Hinterreiter. “This World Endurance Championship
race result is a perfect start and I’m so happy because
I never would have believed that we’d finish as high up
as we did,” observed Hinterreiter.
“Le Mans is a very tough place to race and most of
our rivals had much faster bikes, so to do what we did
was great,” he added. “We knew we’d be at a
disadvantage compared with the rest of the field, but
this is all part of the challenge. I didn’t have
any problems during the race and I actually felt that
the bike was getting better as the race wore on!
We’ve not had much time with the R 1200 S before coming
to Le Mans, so this result makes me very, very happy.”
Rico Penzkofer was also very pleased with the team’s
performance and result in this race, one of the toughest
on the endurance calendar. “I was thinking about a
top 25 place before this weekend,” commented Penzkofer.
“We did very well to finish 16th, especially as very
few top teams crashed out or retired,” he remarked. “Our
result was due to hard work and effort. The team
has done absolutely perfect work and the team spirit has
been super throughout the weekend. This is a great
start to the season and it gives us plenty of confidence
for the next race.”
Director of BMW Motorrad Motorsport, Berti Hauser,
was delighted with the team’s first official outing and
believes that Boxer fans can expect more of the same
throughout 2007. “After five years of the Boxer
Cup, we wanted a new challenge and we also wanted to
give something back to the fans,” commented Hauser.
“We wanted to participate in a major race but knew we
couldn’t do Superbike with this bike (because of the
regulations) so we chose what is probably the toughest
discipline of all -- endurance!”
“Le Mans is probably the most famous and also the
toughest endurance race on the calendar,” Hauser added,
“and with many strong teams participating, we knew it
wasn’t going to be easy. However, I never expected
we’d finish in the top 16 and I am both happy and
delighted with this performance. The team’s
motivation and spirit has been super throughout and this
result is a great reward for everybody’s hard work and
commitment. We’ve learned so much just from being
part of this race and we’ve got a lot of ideas to work
on that I know will help us improve the bike even more
for the next challenge.”
1. S.E.R.T. – 818 laps.
2. S.E.R.T. – 818 laps.
3. Kawasaki Motor France – 817 laps.
4. Yamaha GMT – 811 laps.
5. Yamaha Austria Racing – 810 laps.
16. BMW Motorrad Motorsport – 776 laps.
1. BMW Motorrad Motorsport – 776 laps.
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