Almeria, Spain. The alpha Racing – Van Zon – BMW team had a successful first roll out test on the brand new 2019 BMW S 1000 RR in Almeria in Southern Spain. The equip of team principal Werner Damen spent five full days working on the new Double-R motorbikes for the reigning IDM Superbike Champion of 2018, Ukrainian Ilya Mikhalchik, and last year’s bronze medal winner Julian Puffe from Schleiz.
With that, the first laps on arrival where done on completely street spec standard bikes to get the engines ran in. Both riders where showing overwhelming reactions after the first contact with the brand new RR bikes.
As the week progressed, the bikes where transformed into proper racing machines with the addition of tuning- and evolution-parts. Mikhalchik and Puffe with their respective mechanic crews worked on finding a base setup and to find a direction with the new parts and supplies.
After the first five days of testing the team showed highliy motivated and satisfied, as lap times already dropped below the markers set one year ago on the “old” version of the RR. Still the team has a lot of preparation work to do prior the season opener mid May. The alpha Racing – Van Zon – BMW team only entered a pre-series model of this year’s season bike and now is going to build the “proper” machinery for Mikhalchik and Puffe, basing on the data and perceptions gained at this shake down test.
#1 – Ilya Mikhalchik – Rider:
“Overall I am really happy with the test because we did a lot of laps and the feeling on the new bike was really good from the first second on. The bike is a bit fresh for now but sure we will work on it and for the first race we will be ready – 100 per cent. We will see. I can’t say what is better and what is worse on the new bike. It looks good and is fast but also my old RR was fast and a very good motorcycle. The Double-R now is brand new and I think we can be more competitive than with the old one, that makes me really happy. Thanks to my team, they did a really good job here and now we will prepare the next test and then the first races. I can’t wait for it.”
#19 – Julian Puffe – Rider:
“That test was properly exciting. We had some issues to solve on the new bike but most of them being normal at this stage. During the first four days we couldn’t ride as much, we had to test several parts such as brakes and not all of them did work in a similar good way. So it was up to day five to properly ride the bike and by then we could do some longer stints and more laps, also start to work on the suspension side of our new RRs. In the end this was a good success and seeing the pace on one lap we are faster than one year ago on the old bike already. But we now need to focus on conserving out tires for the race distance. It was good to finally swing a lag over the new bike and the base of the new Double-R is already better than on the old one I’d say. We are now going to evaluate all data gained and then build my proper racing bike as this version was a test bike. We are now going to implement all the latest stuff of those parts that have been evolution parts or development parts here. We are now having a good base and can now head to the next test much better prepared.”
Werner Daemen – Team principal:
“We passed or first five track days on the brand new BMW S 1000 RR successfully. We had to start with completely standard spec street bikes and step by step rebuilt them for racing purposes. For our whole team this is an exciting project as the new Double-R is a brand new bike and not only a evolution. Basically we start from scratch and had to deal with some normal issues but at the end of this five days of shake down testing we already were faster than a year ago on the matured RR bike – so this is highly motivating for all of us. I think we are on the right path. We need to work on keeping the pace over the distance but I am sure we will further improve that topic until the season starts at the Lausitzring – and then we will see where we stand.”