BMW axes F1 team but bike teams safe

Xaus undergoes operation on broken femur

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jul. 30, 2009
BMW recently announced its withdrawal from Formula One activities but its motorcycle racing programs will continue.

The BMW-Sauber team will complete the 2009 F1 season before shutting down, joining Honda in deciding to pull out of the series. Citing the costs involved in developing an F1 program, as well as the team’s lack of success, BMW says it will redirect its resources towards “the fields of sustainability and new technology development”.

Unlike Honda which also closed its AMA Pro Road Racing team and withdrew from the Suzuki 8 Hours endurance race, BMW says it will maintain its motorcycle programs including its World Superbike Championship and World Enduro Championship teams. Other automobile competitions are also safe.

“We will continue our touring car and Formula BMW racing campaigns in 2010. This will be supplemented by our participation in ALMS and endurance races as well as our increasing activity in close-to-production customer sports,” says Klaus Draeger, BMW management board member. “Furthermore, we will naturally continue our international motorcycle racing program, focusing on the Superbike World Championship series.”

As a showcase for its new S1000RR, BMW’s WSBK program should be safe. The BMW Motorrad Motorsport team is competing its first WSBK season with its best result a fifth-place finish by Troy Corser July 26 at Brno, Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, Corser’s teammate Ruben Xaus underwent surgery for a broken leg July 28 in Barcelona. Doctors inserted three screws into Xaus’ right femur, injured in a crash at Brno.

BMW cut its F1 program but its WSBK team will continue.

“At the moment I am on crutches, because I am not allowed to put any weight on my right leg, but I can sit down normally and get about OK,” says Xaus. “I can start swimming almost straightway and physiotherapy very soon. I am in no pain and I am really looking forward to getting fit and back on my bike again.”

The injury comes at a good time as the WSBK series enters its mid-season break, giving Xaus time to recover before racing resumes Sept. 4-6 at the Nurburgring in Germany.

“It’s good that we have a bit of a break before the next race, but I’m already looking forward to being back at the track,” says Xaus. “I want to say thank you to the whole team for all their good wishes and tell them to have a good holiday and then get my bikes ready for my return.”