-- BMW France prepare WEC bid
Eupen, Belgium - 23 January 2013: BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent head into the 2013 Endurance World Championship determined once again to battle for the world title that has eluded them by the narrowest of margins the past two seasons.
In both 2011 and 2012 the team took the battle for the title down to the wire, with the world championship decided only at the final round of the season. On both occasions luck was on the side of their rivals and the team ended the season as vice-world champions.
It was an impressive performance by a relative newcomer to the Endurance World Championship, but the team and the riders are determined to go one better and claim a first World Championship title for the BMW S 1000 RR this season.
Sébastien Gimbert and Damian Cudlin will return for a third season aboard the #99 BMW S 1000 RR, on which they'll be joined by the reigning FIM Superstock 1000 Cup champion, Sylvain Barrier. While Barrier doesn't have the endurance experience of his two teammates, the 24-year-old Frenchman certainly knows his way around the team's BMW S 1000 RR, having won four races aboard the superstock version of the bike on his way to his 2012 FIM title.
BMW Motorrad France will get their 2013 season underway during a private test at Magny-Cours in March, ahead of the official pre-Bol d'Or test at the circuit on 20th and 21st March. The team will return to the Circuit de Nevers just a few weeks later for the opening round of the 2013 Endurance World Championship, which takes place over the weekend of the 20th and 21st April.
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"This will be our third full season with the BMW S 1000 RR so we go into the championship with a much better understanding of the bike compared to previous years. We've also analysed very closely our 2012 performance over the winter. We had some bad luck last year, that's true, but there were also times when our relative inexperience cost us time, position and points. We've addressed these issues for the coming season, which I'm confident will be our strongest yet. This year Sébastien Gimbert and Damian Cudlin will be joined aboard our BMW S 1000 RR by Sylvain Barrier. Sylvain's experience of endurance racing may be limited in comparison to his teammates, but he impressed me with his performances aboard the BMW S 1000RR last year and I'm confident that he will quickly prove an asset to the team. As always, our goals for the season remain the same; to lift the world title and to take our first ever win in a 24-hour race.
Marcel Driessen: Director, BMW Motorrad France
"Endurance racing is the toughest of all disciplines in which we compete with the BMW S 1000 RR but, as we've seen over the past two years, it's a discipline at which the bike excels. But endurance racing isn't just about the bike; it's about the riders, the team and the bike coming together to run a perfect race. There is no margin for error with the championship as closely contested as it is. And this is where the team's focus has been during the winter, building on previous experience so they can put together the perfect race, at every race. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what they can achieve in 2013."
2013 Endurance World Championship Calendar
20-21 March Pre-Bol d'Or Test Magny Cours, France
20-21 April Bol d'Or Magny Cours, France
27-28 July Suzuka 8 Hours Suzuka, Japan
16-17 August 8 Hours of Oschersleben Oschersleben, Germany
21-22 August Pre-Mans Test Le Mans, France
21-22 September 24 Heures Moto Le Mans, France
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