BMW works team: contract expires – plan from 2025 / Superbike World Championship

BMW works team: contract expires – plan from 2025 / Superbike World Championship

Since 2019, the SMR Team has been BMW’s flagship in the World Superbike Championship. The contract expires after this season – team owner Shaun Muir reveals how he thinks about the future.

From 2009 to 2013, BMW competed in the World Superbike Championship with a works team for the first time: the first four years with Alpha Racing from Stephanskirchen, and in the fifth season BMW Italy managed the plans. After that, the factory’s official participation ended.

Five lean years followed in which BMW was in the championship, but did not win any prizes with its customer sports program.

2019 was held under the then Executive Director Dr. Markus Schramm returned to the factory, and the British team Shaun Muir won as a partner. The current deal is being extended until the end of this year, but will have to be renegotiated for 2025 and beyond.

Great progress has been made at BMW since the summer of 2023, and Christian Gonschor of Bochum as Technical Director brought a breath of fresh air. He put together a test team with former MotoGP pilots Sylvain Guintoli and Bradley Smith, and since then they have contributed greatly to rapid development. And motorsport director Marc Bongers achieved the coup of the year for superbikes in May 2023 by signing Toprak Razgatlioglu for this season and next.

The Turk was on the podium four times in the first six races of 2024 at Phillip Island and in Barcelona, ​​​​​​and a two-time winner in Catalonia. Ahead of this weekend’s Assen race in 4th place overall, Razgatlioglu has taken BMW to the next level and is showing his teammates what is possible with the M1000RR. caught up with SMR team owner Shaun Muir in Assen to find out how he thinks about the coming years.

“My ambition is to continue with BMW,” insisted the Brit in a live chat. “We started together in 2019, we had a two-year contract and we quickly extended it. Now BMW is looking for its next steps and we are looking for ours. There is no exact deadline, we are left with the idea that we will have everything closed by the summer. We are talking about a partnership. I contribute a team with many sponsors and my services. What has changed since the early days is the use of BMW. They contribute more today, and now there is a balance between both sides.

Austria’s Markus Flasch has been head of BMW Motorrad since November 1, 2023. Sven Blusch will become the new racing boss on June 1, while his predecessor Marc Bongers will then focus on his work in the World Superbike Championship. According to Muir, this amendment will have little impact on existing plans.

“I was told verbally by Bongers and Blusch that the project would go ahead,” Muir said. “I’ve said it’s a pleasure to continue. We have a good partnership and we just need to sign this off contractually.”

Razgatlioglu has a contract with BMW until the end of 2025, while teammate Michael van der Mark’s contract expires after this season. “I would also like to continue with Michael,” emphasizes the team boss. “The talks with him will start in the next four weeks. Marc Bongers and I agree on this. I would like to keep my contract with the drivers until the end of 2026 or 2027 would be good for me.

It is important for the German manufacturer to have four motorcycles in the field in 2025. Because two drivers, Razgatlioglu and Scott Redding, already have a contract for next year, and more cooperation with van der Mark is needed. And with Andrea Iannone, an expert comes to the market who wants a factory contract and represents an interesting option.

But it is doubtful if the second BMW Bonovo team will stay with the propeller brand beyond the current season. There is even talk of leaving the World Superbike Championship at the moment.

“I’m not worried about things that happen outside of my team,” Muir said. “I have been in this game for a long time and I have seen many teams come and go. I have a responsibility to my sponsors, some of whom have been with me for many years. That’s why my focus is on SMR and BMW moving forward together.