Former WorldSBK Champion Tom Sykes has been confirmed with the new, Shaun Muir-run BMW Motorrad team at the Milan Show this morning.
The former Kawasaki man will ride alongside long-time BMW employee Markus Reiterberger in the team which is a joint effort between the factory and Muir’s SMR operation.
The new S1000RR will run under the legendary M Sport banner in a squad that has been told it will get whatever it needs to win by BMW head honcho Dr Markus Schramm.
“I am very excited to join the new BMW project in the WorldSBK Championship. I believe that the BMW and Shaun Muir Racing partnership is an outstanding opportunity and understand that we all share the same goals of where we want to be,” said Sykes.
“I am looking forward to the start of the pre-season testing where I will get my first taste of the new BMW S1000RR and begin my new challenge and adventure.”
BMW claim the bike now puts out 207bhp in road trim and weighs 193.6kg using the M Sport package with the aim of making it a second faster than its predecessor.
The big hoo-hoo for the engine is ShiftCam technology which varies the valve timings and valve strokes on the intake side.
A revised intake passage and a new exhaust system that is 1.3 kg lighter likewise contribute to increased overall performance.
Reiterberger said: “I am overjoyed to have the chance to return to the WorldSBK. I am also really happy to be staying with the BMW family, and to be competing for a good and experienced team. I am forward to working with my new team-mate Tom Sykes as well.
“I have a huge amount of respect for him; he has already been world champion and has been one of the very best for years. It is fantastic to have him as a team-mate. I can still learn a lot from him and I hope that we will be able to work together to return the ‘propeller’ brand to the front. However, we need to be careful not to set our expectations too high.
“We have a new motorbike and we are in a new team. We just need to try to be improving all the time and make sure that we prepare well for the start of the season. That is our job and if we can all pull together, we will be successful for a long time. I am really looking forward to this new challenge and I am very optimistic. Thanks to everyone who has supported me and given me this new chance in the WorldSBK.”