Badovini in, Barrier out at BMW Italia
The BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team has taken the drastic step of replacing regular rider Sylvain Barrier with former Ducati factory competitor Ayrton Badovini, and replacing him for the rest of the WSB season according to the team’s own press release.
The team statement read, “…starting with the next round in the ENI FIM Superbike World Championship, on the calendar for 10-12 April at Motorland Aragon in Spain, Ayrton Badovini will be on track astride the Italian team’s BMW S 1000 RR.”
The decision has doubtless been a tough one for the one-rider team who saw Barrier win two Superstock 1000 FIM Cups for them in 2012 and 2013 but the now undisputed top BMW team in WSB felt it needed a change after the first two rounds of 2015. Barrier is currently 16th in the championship, with a best race finish of 12th in race two at Phillip Island.
Experienced Italian Badovini (28) rode for the ill-fated Bimota Alstare team last year before the manufacturer fell foul of homologation rules. This year he was lined up to ride for the proposed JR Racing BMW team but that effort never got off the ground.
His previous WSB credentials include one pole and one podium in the first year of the Ducati Panigale in 2013, with two previous seasons on the BMW S1000RR Superbike - for the same BMW Motorrad Italia squad he is now rejoining. He took his first ever WSB podium on the BMW in 2012, at Silverstone.
Badovini’s best season-long WSB effort so far was in 2011, when he finished tenth overall. The year before he won nine of the ten races that made up the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup, again for the BMW Motorrad Italia team.