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SBK, Gonschor-Zambenedetti: the BMW-Ducati duel is not just between Toprak and Bautista

ANALYSIS - Behind the confrontation between Alvaro and Toprak are numbers and ideas, but above all two great engineers: on the one hand, Marco, the future of Ducati and Dall'Igna's point of reference. On the other Chris, the one who accelerated the development process in Monaco. People perhaps different from each other but certainly innovative

SBK: Gonschor-Zambenedetti: the BMW-Ducati duel is not just between Toprak and Bautista

The Ducati is undoubtedly the bike to beat, but this BMW is awesome enough to have already come to victory after only two races since the start of the Championship. If the Rossa's championship hopes are pinned on Alvaro Bautista despite the fact that Nicolò Bulega is in front of the rest of the field, those of the German manufacturer are all concentrated in Toprak Razgatlioglu, who was the big market coup made last season in Munich.

On the track the spotlight is therefore on these two great champions, but behind them there are numbers and ideas to try to make their respective means more performing allowing the riders to express their maximum potential once they put down their helmet visors. We are talking about the men who work behind the scenes and represent the minds that move everything.

Zambenedetti: the extension of Gigi Dall'Igna.

Such is the case with Marco Zambenedetti and Chris Gonschor, namely those who run the technical side of Ducati and BMW. Regarding Marco, who arrived in 2018 in Superbike to replace Ernesto Marinelli, we have gotten to know him better and better over the years, telling among other things his story that you can read HERE. A training path born in Aprilia, when he was still a university student, alongside two giants like Witteveen and Dall'Igna, the same Gigi who later brought him to Ducati entrusting him with the Superbike challenge.

Zambenedetti you recognize for his height, but above all for him being a humble, honest and respectful person of others. At times perhaps introverted, but capable in his work of putting himself in the spotlight whenever the regulations try to get in his way. First the RPM cut, then the ballast. In his youthful experience he has already put two world titles in his pocket, and for Ducati he represents to all intents and purposes the future, managing among other things to develop a bike capable of winning with multiple riders, for example Rinaldi and Bulega.

Gonschor: the man of the revolution

On the other hand, there is Chris Gonschor, analytical, spontaneous and open to dialogue, to whom BMW entrusted the role of technical director last season. In the Superbike paddock, he is certainly not a new face considering that in 2013 he came within a whisker of the title with Melandri before the manufacturer decided to abandon the scene.

Born in 1980 and joining the company in 2003, the engineer was previously responsible for the design of the HP4 Race, or the road-going supersport launched in 2017. In his long career in Munich, he has focused mainly on development related to the chassis, an aspect particularly suffered by BMW in these Superbike years.

Since rejoining the World Championship, Chris has been able to accelerate the development process of the M 1000 RR, burning the candle at both ends and bringing it to success in just over six months. He is credited with revolutionizing the structure and at the same time carrying out focused, piece-by-piece analysis work, involving the car division as well and establishing a test team. These are certainly the highlights of his work to chart the path to winning the title as he explained to us at the Phillip Island round (read HERE)

Zambenedetti and Gonschor: two young engineers, different perhaps in style and look, one with disheveled hair and a lover of polo shirts, the other with neat hair and a white shirt that he is never seen without. What they have in common, however, are ideas, innovation and a mentality aimed at technological progress between wings, frames and much more.

The battle of this World Superbike Championship certainly also passes through their genius.


Translated by Julian Thomas

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