Munich. BMW Motorrad Motorsport is returning to historic Imola (ITA) with the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). The seventh round of the 2023 WorldSBK season will take place at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari from 14th to 16th July. The WorldSBK has regularly visited Imola in past decades, most recently in 2019. Leon Haslam (GBR) will ride the second BMW M 1000 RR alongside Scott Redding (GBR) in the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team.
Haslam is no stranger to BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the WorldSBK. The 40-year-old Briton has competed in a total of 316 WorldSBK races between 2003 and 2022, finishing as runner-up in the championship in 2010. In 2011 and 2012, he raced as a BMW Motorrad Motorsport factory rider with the BMW S 1000 RR, earning a total of eight podium finishes. In the current 2023 season, Haslam competes with the ROKiT BMW Motorrad British Superbike Team aboard the BMW M 1000 RR in the British Superbike Championship (BSB), where he has already achieved six podium finishes, including two at the recent round at Snetterton (GBR).
Imola is a track with a rich tradition, but as it has not been on the WorldSBK calendar in recent years, it is still unfamiliar to some. The ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team is already familiar with the circuit from the past, as is Haslam. However, Redding has not raced there before.
Quotes ahead of the Imola round.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “First of all, many thanks to Leon for being available at short notice to be with us at Imola. We know each other well from the past, where we celebrated success together, and this season he has returned to the BMW Motorrad family in BSB and is familiar with the new BMW M 1000 RR. He also has a lot of WorldSBK experience, and we are confident that he will quickly get back up to speed at Imola. After his crash at Donington, Tom Sykes is on the road to recovery and was discharged from the hospital on Sunday after a week, and we all send him our best wishes. Michael participated in a track day last week, however a return for Imola would still be too early, and we have jointly decided that he will sit out this weekend, and then we will reassess the situation. Now we are excited about Imola. Scott showed a clear upward trend in Donington, which was confirmed by his fourth-place finish in the second race. Garrett was also fast and consistently strong there and we want to continue that at Imola. However, a major topic will be the high heat expected over the weekend which can be challenging for humans, machines, and tyres.”
Scott Redding, #45 ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “Imola is new track for me so it’s another element to the weekend, I always like new tracks! I hope for a good weekend and to keep the momentum from Donington.”
Leon Haslam, #91 BMW M 1000 RR, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “It’s a fantastic opportunity. Obviously I have a lot of history with Imola. We took the championship in 2010 down to the last round at Imola. I have a lot of history from this circuit and it’s fantastic to ride again for BMW Motorrad Motorsport. We are riding the BMW M 1000 RR in the UK so I’m looking forward to work with Shaun Muir and all the guys from the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. We will see. I have no real big expectations, I just want to try to enjoy and hopefully we can get some good information and some good results.”