Have leathers will travel: Jake Zemke will be the reserve rider for the BMW Motorrad France Thevant team in the Bol d’Or – the opening round of the World Endurance Championship – on April 20-21 with the opportunity to work his way into the starting lineup as the series moves on.
The French team announced today that it will field Sebastien Gimbert, Sylvain Barrier and Karl Muggeridge on the BMW S1000RR, with Muggeridge replacing regular team rider Damian Cudlin. Cudlin will be racing in the German Superbike Championship (IDM) that weekend.
Zemke, meanwhile, will get some track time with the team as he makes his World Endurance debut as the team’s reserve rider.
“Finding a rider of the right caliber to replace Damian for the opening race hasn’t been easy, as a lot of riders are committed to domestic championships running on the same weekend as the Bol d’Or,” said team owner Michael Bartholemy. “We were lucky that Karl [Muggeridge] was available, because I think he will be a real asset to the team, strengthening an already strong rider line up.
“Jake [Zemke] will also add a lot to the team. He will be our reserve rider at the Bol d’Or, which will allow him to get a feel for the championship on his debut, but I expect he will make our starting line up in at least one race later in the season. In Sylvain Barrier we have an incredibly fast rider, while Sébastien and Karl bring with them vast experience as well as raw speed. This is a potent combination and, matched with our BMW S1000RR and Michelin tires, I think we have a very competitive package with which to start the season.”
Muggeridge last raced in September of last year.
“Since my last race back in September a lot of people have asked me if I was missing racing and, to be honest, I wasn’t,” the Aussie said. “But, when Michael Bartholemy called about riding for BMW in the Endurance World Championship there was a definite itch and, with all the preparation and logistics over the last week, it actually feels like I’ve never been away. I am thrilled and completely motivated for this new challenge and I honestly believe we have a great opportunity together to win. I’ve raced the Bol d’Or before, back in 2000, so I’m well aware of the challenge ahead. I’m in good shape and reasonably well prepared, so bring it on.”