The new four-rider Buildbase BMW Motorrad team is raring to go for the opening races of the season this weekend. The long Easter Weekend sees the 2012 MCE British Superbike Championship kick off at the Brand's Hatch Indy Circuit – and the first opportunity for BMW Motorrad and Hawk Racing to defend their 2011 Metzeler National Superstock 1000 Championship title.
The Buildbase BMW Motorrad team, headed up by ex-racer Stuart Hicken and his son Steve, is fielding four experienced racers on the brand new 2012 BMW S 1000 RR race bikes this year. Steve Brogan and Howie Mainwaring are spearheading the team’s assault on the highly-competitive, production-based Superstock 1000 series.
Barry Burrell, who placed third in the BSB-EVO championship for Buildbase BMW Motorrad in 2011, and Dan Linfoot, who signed for the team in early 2012, will be riding the team’s British Superbike-spec RRs.
The BMW S 1000 RR, introduced in 2010, has taken British racing by storm, winning two Superstock 1000 titles and the 2012 BSB-EVO championship at the hands of Steve Brogan. The RR has been revised for 2012, with hundreds of changes including refined electronics, chassis tweaks and a bolstered midrange, meaning that the RR is set to dominate the racetrack even further.
Steve Brogan, 31, from Liverpool, won the first ever BSB-EVO title in 2010 for BMW Motorrad. Brogan also won the 2008 Superstock 1000 title and came second in 2009. A fan favourite, Brogan will bring a wealth of experience gained in the Superstock, EVO and BSB championships to the Buildbase BMW Motorrad team.
Howie Mainwaring, 24, from Frodsham, is a hard-charging rider who finished fifth in the 2011 Superstock 1000 Championship, including an impressive race win at Brands Hatch. Howie’s enthusiasm and energy will help drive him and his team-mate Brogan to deliver their best possible performances.
Stuart Hicken, team principal, said: “The long winter break is finally over, and the team and I are very eager to get out there and race. We have a very strong rider line-up, the new 2012 BMW S 1000 RR is an even more impressive bike than the 2011 model, which we took the Superstock title with last year, and we’ve had very promising testing sessions. All in all, we’re feeling very good about this weekend’s racing at Brands.”
Steve Brogan said: “I can’t wait to get out there and race, winter seems to have lasted longer than ever this year! I’m very optimistic, I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, I’ve had some great test days and the new RR is even better than the one I won the BSB-EVO title on in 2012. It steers faster and sharper, thanks to the new head angle, and the boost to the midrange power gives it even more drive. Just get me on the bike!”
Howie Mainwaring said: “I'm feeling very confident. The new RR is absolutely on the money and the team have built a very special machine. I think we'll be fighting for points right from the start. I'm excited about Brands, it's a circuit that's always been good to me, and it'll really suit our bikes. I can't wait for the season to start."
The first practice sessions begin on Good Friday at 9am, with both the Superstock 1000 and BSB races shown live on Easter Monday on British Eurosport 2 from 12:30pm.