Bimota BB3 gear up for World Superbike debut Paolo Gozzi

14 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Bimota BB3 gear up for World Superbike debut Paolo Gozzi
Bimota BB 1

Bimota BB3 gear up for World Superbike debut

White, red, aggressive. But above all ready to race. Here are the photos of the Bimota BB3 that will make its World Superbike debut in the second round of the championship at Aragon (Spain) on April 13.

Christian Iddon (left), manager Francis Batta and the Bimota BB3

PREMIERE – The photos have been taken in the racing department of Team Alstare . the Belgian structure that has signed a five-year collaboration agreement with the tiny Rimini-based manufacturer. They show one of the two riders, 29-year-old Christian Iddon from Britain, and the team owner Batta. The other rider, Ayrton Badovini (ex-BMW and ex-Ducati) was not there, but he posted this tweet: “ A lot of activity…next week leathers and helmet..almost there! Begin again! ”

CURIOSITY – Alstare’s base is at Alleur, an industrial suburb of Liege in an attractive historical building, which in the past was a marmalade factory. It’s not just the team’s racing department, on the contrary it has a lot of top-level equipment (dynos, etc.), and has everything necessary for the development of the various components (engine, electronics, chassis) and the periodical overhaul of the engines throughout the season.

The Bimota is fitted with the same four-cylinder 1000cc BMW engine that was used in Marco Melandri’s and Chaz Davies’ S1000RR in 2013. Development work is in the hands of Bruno Bailly, one of Superbike’s most expert engineers: two years ago he worked directly for BMW, so he should know all of its secrets.

HOMOLOGATION – At present the Bimota is not in the list of 2014 homologated bikes. But the recent reduction of the required quantities announced by the Superbike Commission (made up of Dorna, the FIM and the teams) has opened the door: now just 125 bikes are required immediately, 250  by December and 1000 in total by the end of 2015. In order to make its debut at Aragon, the Italian firm will have to show the FIM inspectors that the necessary components for the assembly of the first quantity (125 bikes) required by the new norms are available.

Bimota BB 1

In 2013 Christian Iddon raced with MV Agusta in Supersport, scoring a third place.

READY TO RACE – The bike in the photo is ready to hit the track: note the gorgeous one-piece swing-arm, one of the components that can be replaced from the road bike. The electronics also look to have in their definitive version: note the sensor on the rear wheel hub for transmitting the data to the traction control. The team has not yet announced its test programme: the first one could be at Jerez at the end of March, together with Aprilia, Kawasaki and Honda following the opening round at Phillip Island.

HISTORY – Bimota were protagonists in the early years of World Superbike. A Bimota bike won the first-ever race with Davide Tardozzi on April 4, 1988 at Donington and that year he went very close to the world title.

In subsequent years the YB4 machine was in the hands of talented riders such as Giancarlo Falappa . Belgium’s Stephane Mertens and the American Mike Baldwin . After going through a period of major company restructuring, Bimota reappeared in Superbike in 2000 with a twin-cylinder Suzuki-powered SB8R. Australian Anthony Gobert scored an unlikely win in the wet at Phillip Island, but it was a flash in the pan: from then onwards the Bimota had all sorts of trouble and vanished from the scene.

Fourteen years later the story starts over on more solid ground, and with big ambitions. Francis Batta is reported to have already offered to Max Biaggi an opportunity to race the BB3, and the 42-year-old, six-time world champion has shown a certain amount of interest.

Bimota BB 1
Bimota BB 1
Bimota BB 1

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