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BMW open to future MotoGP programme

BMW MotoGPBMW says it is open to a future MotoGP programme and is using its engine supply deal with CRT team Forward Racing and Suter as a toe in the water effort to assess the series.

The German firm's current main motorcycle campaign is in World Superbikes, but BMW Motorrad president Hendrik von Kuenheim told the official MotoGP website that the prototype championship was very attractive.

"MotoGP is the most-watched motorcycle racing sport in the world," he said. "Next to Formula 1, it is the reference benchmark in motorsports. When you look at individual races, like at Jerez or Assen, there is no Formula 1 race in the world where you get that amount of spectators.

"So it is a very, very clear platform to present yourself, and we have to think about if one day we need to enter into this as well. Whoever races there and wins is the reference in sports bikes."

Von Kuenheim also feels that MotoGP's new 1000cc engine regulations make it of greater interest to BMW.

"With the new rules and regulations that have come into effect now, our engine is possibly very, very suited for MotoGP racing. But then racing is expensive and we have to think about this," he said.

Suter is using a BMW engine in its CRT MotoGP chassis, which Colin Edwards will ride for Forward Racing, this year. While von Kuenheim played down BMW's role in this programme, he said the firm was keeping a close eye on how its engine fared.

"We are there to watch and to see how Mr [Eskil] Suter will do," said von Kuenheim. "It was his initiative. Obviously he gets some input and some support from BMW, but it is his project. We must make that very clear - it is not a BMW project.

"But it is, as you would say, a foot into the door to understand how the racing series works and what the potential of this is."

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