The 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale made its worldwide racing debut this past weekend, winning a race in Spain and scoring a pole position and a pair of podium finishes in South Africa. Ducati‘s latest sportbike isn’t due to make its international racing debut until the Superstock 1000 Cup race, April 1 at Italy’s Imola circuit, […]
Bimota Passes WSBK Homologation Inspection
Bimota has been given the okay to race in the 2014 World Superbike Championship after a visit from representatives from the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) and WSBK promoter Dorna. Bimota and its racing partner Team Alstare will be allowed to race in the championship immediately, starting with this weekend’s round at Spain’s Aragon circuit.
The manufacturer opened the doors to its factory in Rimini, Italy, to Charles Hennekam, FIM technical coordinator and motorcycle homologation officer, and Gregorio Lavilla, Dorna WSBK sporting director. Bimota Technical Director Andrea Acquaviva showed them the company’s business plan and production forecasts.
Hennekam and Lavilla inspected the homologation documents and the first production units of the BMW S1000RR-powered BB3 before giving Bimota the okay to race, but with one important caveat.
Bimota still needs to produce a minimum of 125 units within four months to meet homologation requirements. Until that is achieved, the Bimota Alstare team will be allowed to race but will not receive any championship points, no matter how they finish. Bimota will also need to produce 250 units by the end of the year and 1000 by the end of 2015; it’s unclear what would happen if Bimota should fall short of those targets.
Still, the Bimota and Alstare welcome the opportunity to race. The team already missed the season opener at Phillip Island and as a first-year operation, championship points are not as important as the development of the BB3 superbike. And of course, there’s the matter of providing the team’s sponsors with the exposure a WSBK round provides.
Bimota Alstare will field the duo of 2010 Superstock 1000 champion Ayrton Badovini and British rookie Christian Iddon. Badovini and Iddon have been preparing for their delayed season debut, recently testing the BB3 at Portugal’s Portimao circuit. Both riders will compete in the WSBK EVO class, which limits engine and electronics to Superstock-level specifications.