Bimota will not be present on the grid for the opening round of the World Superbike Championship due to take place at Phillip Island next weekend as the Italian manufacturer’s BB3 has not yet met the FIM’s Superbike homologation rules.
It was announced last month that Francis Batta’s Alstare outfit would run a team in the World Championship out of a new Bimota Racing department set up by the Belgian firm, however the FIM issued a statement following the announcement stating homologation rules must be observed, but numbers could be reviewed in order to allow Bimota into the championship. A decision was promised by the end of January.
While no formal decision was announced, it was assumed all was OK as Bimota appeared on the provisional entry lists, albeit marked ‘subject to homologation’. It would now seem the lack of BMW-powered BB3’s in production has caused a delay with Bimota’s racing plans.
We caught up with one of the team’s riders, Christian Iddon to find out more:
“There are a number of reasons for the delay but the rules mean you have to have a certain amount of bikes produced before we can race” explained Iddon, who moves into the World Superbike EVO championship after a strong debut season in World Supersport in 2013.
“Everything with the Bimota is brand new and there are so many things the team and factory have to do. Production runs have been arranged and then the race team is getting everything ready for us on the track side of things.
Hopefully we will be having some form of shakedown probably around the same time as the rest of the championship is out in Australia. Those first few days are always so important with a new bike as there are always unseen little niggles and it's always good to get them out of the way. It's been such a long winter full of uncertainty and physically and mentally I'm ready to race so it's hard to be away from riding for so long. I really can't wait to get back on a bike again”
“Missing any race means missing out on valuable potential championship points but I'm not massively concerned about the Championship at this stage. I hate missing any race because I love racing, it's what we do so it's gutting not to be out there but I believe we will be better placed for not going. We can structure testing more productively and hopefully come back stronger than if we were actually out in Australia right now.”
With the second round of the season at Aragon some four weeks after Phillip Island, the manufacturer has time on their side.
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Victory Motorcycles has today lifted the covers off a ‘Street’ version of the bike that Lee Johnston and Guy Martin rode to third and fourth in this year’s TT Zero race.
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