SA's Greg in World Superbike gig
GREG GILDENHUYS: The doublle SA Superbikes champion has a ride for the factory BMW team in the Magny Cours World Superbikes event, the last of the 2012 season. Images: Motorpics
Greg Gildenhuys, chasing a South African Superbike title hat trick on a factory BMW Motorrad Motorsport S1000RR, will compete in the final round of the 2012 World Superbike championship at Magny-Cours in France on October 7.
He'll be riding for the factory BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet Superstock team.
The 23-year-old from Boskruin in Gauteng has a 60-point lead in the National championship with two rounds remaining. He will replace injured Italian factory rider Lorenzo Baroni on the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet BMWS1000RR that contests the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup.
Baroni’s French team mate Sylvain Barrier is second in the championship on 113 points, six behind countryman Eddi La Marra on a Ducati. He has four wins to his credit this season, including in the previous round at the Nurburgring in Germany on September 9.
Rob Holder, general manager of BMW Motorrad Motorsport in South Africa, said: “This is a huge opportunity for Greg to display his skill and impress on the biggest stage in World production motor-cycle racing. We had originally negotiated a ride for Greg on a customer BMW S1000RR Superbike with the Italian factory team for the final round of the championship in France but Baroni was injured and the team offered Greg his place for the las race of the season.
“Greg thoroughly deserves this major recognition, which comes from a top, front-running team. He has done BMW proud with his back-to-back National Superbike championships in 2010 and 2011 and his continued domination of the 2012 championship. This is his big international chance.“
Gildenhuys was elated: “I‘m super-stoked and very grateful for this awesome opportunity. It’s been a mega year for me already here in South Africa (six wins and 12 podiums in 12 races). I’ll be doing my best to make my team, my family and South Africa proud.“
Gildenhuys follows several other top South African riders into the World Superbike championship but is the first to be offered a full factory ride by a leading team.