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BMW Motorrad Motorsport

Prague, Czech Republic, 12/10/2016, Alpe Adria Road Racing Championship

Fantastic comeback with title win

Interview with Lukáš Pešek, Superbike champion in the AARR

Two wins at the finale of the Alpe Adria Road Racing Championship confirmed Lukáš Pešek’s title win in the Superbike class (AARR SBK). This marked the culmination of a successful season for the 30-year-old Czech rider. In addition to competing on the BMW S 1000 RR in the AARR SBK, he was also in action over longer distances and has come to enjoy these events more and more.

In 2016, Pešek featured for several BMW teams in the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC): he competed for the BMW Motorrad CSEU team, with whom he claimed the championship title in the AARR, for Rosetta Motorrad39 at the 8 Hours of Suzuka, and for the Penz13.com BMW Motorrad Team, with whom he secured pole position at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans and raced to a podium finish at the 8 Hours of Oschersleben.

Pešek’s career began in the Czech 125cc championship, before he moved on to international competition in 2002. He progressed through the 250cc European championship and the 125cc, 250cc and Moto2 world championships and then competed in MotoGP in the 2013 season. However, the Czech rider retired from active competition in 2014. But then he discovered the BMW S 1000 RR – and started out on a fantastic comeback.

Successful season on the RR

Question: “Congratulations, Lukáš, for winning the 2016 title in the Superbike class of the Alpe Adria Road Racing Championship. How would you sum up your season in this series?”

Lukáš Pešek: “The season started very well for us with a double win at the first round. But then I could not start in the second weekend’s races after I crashed in qualifying. As a result I lost the chance to score a decent amount of points. Before the final round I was seven points behind the leader and my only chance to win the title was to claim a double victory again. This is what we did. It was great – for me and for the team, because they put all their efforts in this and we achieved our goal to win the title.”

Question: “The Alpe Adria Road Racing Championship, however, was not your only activity with the BMW S 1000 RR this season. You also raced in the FIM Endurance World Championship with Team BMW Motorrad CSEU, Rosetta Motorrad 39 and the squad of Penz13.com, including the pole in Le Mans and the podium finish in Oschersleben. Racing for several BMW teams - that makes you a perfect example as a member of the big global BMW Motorrad Motorsport family. Do you also feel like you are a part of the family?”

Pešek: “Yes, of course. To race with BMW, to be a part of that family and the support from Munich gave me the chance to get a place in the endurance teams and to race in the EWC. I actually really like endurance racing and I hope that I can continue on this path next season.”

Question: “What do you like more? Sprint races or endurance races in which you share the riding duties with others?”

Pešek: “It is great to do both kinds of racing. I like sprint races, but they seemed to be very long for me before I started with endurance racing. But once I had the first endurance experience, the sprint races appeared to be very short (laughs). I like both of them. You tackle them with completely different strategies but, at the moment, endurance racing is a much bigger challenge for me. Because I am still learning with every race. This is really exciting. So I would say that at the moment, I like endurance racing a little bit more.”

“The RR is a proper race bike”

Question: “In your career you have raced with many different bikes. How do you like the BMW S 1000 RR?”

Pešek: “I was more than surprised when I rode it for the first time in 2015. Because this bike is a proper race bike and you feel really comfortable on it. It gives you a really good feedback. I can’t say one bad word about this bike, because until now I have only experienced good times on the BMW S 1000 RR.”

Question: “What was your best moment so far on the BMW S 1000 RR?”

Pešek: “Every time you win is the best moment. My target is always to win, this is why I am racing. So every victory was a great moment – and the podium in the 8 Hours Oschersleben. This was my first ever podium in the Endurance World Championship and it was just magic!”

Question: “Are you in close contact with other BMW racers?”

Pešek: “Yes, last year I met Mathieu Gines and Kenny Foray and this year we raced together in one team in the EWC. Both of them are really nice guys and all three of us have in common that we always set our sights on winning.”

“All the riders are talking about the Race Trophy”

Question: “You are also well placed in the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy and you have already secured the championship bonus for you as rider and for the team. How do you like this very special competition?”

Pešek: “It is great to see how all the other riders are doing in their respective series around the globe. It is also great that riders from smaller, national championships get noticed and are rewarded for their achievements in their series with prize money, because BMW is the only manufacturer that does something like that. I also know that all the riders are always talking about it and it is always fun to meet other riders and to compare your positions in the Race Trophy standings. To be successful in the Race Trophy is a great extra you can get as a rider.”

Question: “What are your strengths as a rider? And do you also have weak points?”

Pešek: “(Laughs) That is difficult to say, so maybe you should ask the others this question. Well, let’s say that my strength is: when I have a target, I am doing everything to achieve it. A weak point might be that I sometimes get angry with the other guys on the track (laughs).”

On the RR: comeback after retirement

Question: “Two years ago, in 2014, you had a difficult time as you did not know at all if you would be able to continue your racing career. What happened then, what made your fortunes turn around again?”

Pešek: “In 2014, I had already decided that I would retire from racing, because I was not at all satisfied with how the 2013 season went. I had raced in MotoGP back then, but I did not have a competitive bike. I then coached some younger riders and in doing so I always followed the races. I also worked with young Moto3 riders in the Alpe Adria Road Racing Championship. And one day in 2015, the owner of team BMW Motorrad CSEU just asked me if I wanted to ride. I said: ‘No, no, no, thank you, I am not interested’. But then one day they took the BMW S 1000 RR onto the track, it was a track day with free riding, and I found it quite interesting to just try the bike, because I had not ridden a BMW before.”

“So I took it onto the track and I felt that this bike was so easy to ride. From the first lap on, I had the feeling that I knew how to ride this bike. The team then asked me if I wanted to participate in the next race. I decided to just take part in the free practice on Thursday and said: ‘If I will be fast, we will do the race. If not, we will cancel this.’ But I underestimated the fact that, even if I was not yet on the track, people knew that I would be coming. Everybody talked about it and I was immediately under pressure. And, as I like to be under pressure, I said: ‘Okay, let’s take part in the race, even if I know that I am not strong enough.’ So I went racing on the BMW S 1000 RR – and this is how the new chapter started.”

Question: “You already mentioned that you also work as a riding coach. So is all of your life entirely about bikes?”

Pešek: “I have never thought about it – but yes, it is true! It seems like that I love it. My life is all about bikes. I spent all my life on bikes, I love racing and I have a lot of experience that I can share with young riders to help them.”

Question: “But for sure you must have some other interests that are not related to bikes or racing?”

Pešek: “Yes, of course. I like sport in general and love to do all different kinds of sports. And then I have my dog, Lambo, an Italian Greyhound.”

Question: “Let us talk about fitness: what do you do to keep in shape?”

Pešek: “I train six days a week, and I only take Mondays off. I have done sport all my life, and if I decided to spend a week without training, I would never manage to do so. Because already on the second day I would get bored and be keen to do some training. I go to the gym, do running, cycling and riding Motocross during winter. So I do everything.”

Question: “What goals do you still want to achieve in your racing career?”

Pešek: “The biggest goal is to ride a bike and to be happy. Then I think the results will come automatically and I will achieve my target, which is to always be at the top.”