April 3, 2007 BMW has already shown in its short time as a Formula One constructor that it has the wherewithal to play at the ultimate level and news this week that it will begin competing in motorcycle endurance racing is hence of great significance. On 21st April 2007, the legendary "24-heures moto" races off to yet another blinding start, but with one small but significant historic difference: after an absence of 50 years from competitive road racing, a BMW Motorrad factory team will be on the grid.
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport will be entering the first Endurance World Championship race of the season with a sports boxer based closely on the BMW R 1200 S.
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Its 1200 cc capacity sets it into the Open Class. This long-distance racer will be ridden by professional racers with BMW experience: Stéphane Mertens, Thomas Hinterreiter and Rico Penzkofer, with Marcus Barth as the back-up rider.
In 2007, the team will enter a total of four 24-hour races. In addition to the "24 heures moto" at Le Mans (21/22 April) the program also includes the 24-hour races of Barcelona (07/08 July), Oschersleben (11/12 August) and Magny Cours (Bol d'Or, 15/16 September).