BMW is threatened with disaster: Will Bonovo throw away the garbage?  / World Superbike Championship

BMW is threatened with disaster: Will Bonovo throw away the garbage? / World Superbike Championship

For the 2024 World Superbike Championship, the Bonovo stage was elevated to the status of a works team by BMW, but the reasons for this were weak. Without a change of attitude, the German manufacturer will lose the team.

After winning the IDM Superbike with Yamaha and Jonas Folger, the Bonovo fighter team entered the Superbike World Championship in 2021 and moved to BMW. The Bavarian managed just one single-digit finish in 30 races, finishing eighth in the tire lottery at the start of the season in Aragon. For 2022, Bonovo increased the number to two drivers, and it has remained so to this day.

Since returning to the factory in 2019, the Shaun Muir Racing (SMR) team, with ROKiT as its name since last year, has been BMW’s number 1, and Bonovo achieved that status this year.

However, that was not done as a result of being convicted, but was due to a contractual dispute that existed at the time and turned into a tactic. Because when former world champion Toprak Razgatlioglu signed with BMW in May 2023, five buyers suddenly had a plan for 2024. But there are currently only four M1000RRs in the World Superbike Championship.

Loris Baz fell through the cracks for the season and paid off, Scott Redding insisted on continuing to drive with the factory team.

The so-called reference teams have been around since 2018. These are the number 1 teams of the respective manufacturers, also known as “factory team” or “official team”. In consultation with the factory, these teams decide which electronics will be used and define the consensus and maximum parts. These are engine and chassis changes that are prohibited by the regulations and that the manufacturer is only allowed to do if they have not been successful for a long time and they are allowed to do so.

Until 2023, there was only one memory team per manufacturer, but there is nothing in the regulations against having several. By appointing Bonovo to the factory team, BMW was able to keep Redding with the German army without violating the terms of his contract.

Although Bonovo operates as a reference team, participating in the World Superbike Championship comes with a significant financial burden. BMW motorcycles cost team owner Jürgen Röder several hundred thousand euros per season, including crash parts.

There are manufacturers in the World Superbike Championship who pay all material costs. Of course, Hessian wonders why this is not the case with his “work team”.

By June at the latest, the incumbent will decide whether he wants to continue paying costs of around 2.5 million euros per season out of his own pocket to send two drivers on BMWs to the start of the World Superbike Championship. Röder has repeatedly said that he will only continue as long as he is happy. It is clear that he has lost this joy in the last few months because, apart from the driver’s wages – the athletes are under contract with BMW – he has to pay many expenses himself.

No one would be surprised if Röder were to reduce his team to one driver for 2025 and possibly even change manufacturer. There were already thoughts of going to Ducati last year.

It is also possible that the Bonovo team will completely withdraw from the Superbike World Championship and Röder will return to his roots and become the personal sponsor of riders such as Loris Baz or Marcel Schrötter.

Now it’s up to BMW to serve Bonovo financially and keep Röder happy. Otherwise there is a risk of disaster and the Munich team will be left with only one team in 2025.

By the way, two of the four current BMW drivers also have a valid contract for next year: Toprak Razgatlioglu and Scott Redding.