Bimota is returning to the World Superbike Championship after signing a five-year research and development deal with Team Alstare. The Italian company was one of the original manufacturers in the series’ inaugural 1988 season but Bimota hasn’t competed since the 2000 season.
Team Alstare will enter two Bimota BB3 superbikes in the EVO class, playing a leading role in developing the sportbike. The team has signed Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon to fly the Bimota colors. Badovini raced in the 2013 season for Alstare on a Ducati 1199 Panigale but raced the prior two seasons for BMW on the S1000RR, from which the BB3’s engine is based.
“Although the BB3 is a new bike, I know the engine characteristics very well, from my two years with it in 2011 and 2012,” says Badovini. “It is a nice engine – fast, but very usable at all speeds. I don’t think we’re going to need to do a lot of work on the engine, which leaves us to concentrate of the rest of the package.”
Iddon raced last season for ParkinGo MV Agusta in the World Supersport Championship but will be a rookie to the WSBK class. He will however bring a name familiar to Bimota. His father, Paul Iddon rode a Bimota YB3 in the very first WSBK season.
“Although we are starting from scratch, as long as we can find a good base setting we can progress quickly,” says Christian Iddon. “I think many teams in this year’s championship are new and probably have not done much testing, so we’re going to be in the same boat as them. I don’t like to talk about targets, but I always set high goals for myself and this year will be no exception. I would like to think we’d be challenging the top guys in the EVO class well before the latter part of the season and I’d be disappointed if we weren’t.”
The partnership with Alstare extends beyond WSBK. Alstare is forming Bimota’s global racing department, offering support to all official Bimota teams and will play a key role in developing Bimota’s HB4 Moto2 bike (pictured below). Alstare will also help develop future Bimota models.
“I am very happy and excited about this long-term global project with Bimota – a famous and highly thought of brand,” says Francis Batta, Alstare chief. “It all started at the EICMA last November, when I met the new owners Marco Chiancianesi and Daniele Longoni and immediately got on well with them. After that first meeting, I had a really good feeling about our prospects together.”
[Source: Bimota, Alstare]