BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Munich, Germany, 02/11/2016, FIM Superbike World Championship BMW Road Race Challenge
One of them is one of the most successful road racers in the world, the other is the two time champion of the German Superbike Championship and contests the World Superbike Championship on a BMW S 1000 RR: Ian Hutchinson and Markus Reiterberger. We brought the two BMW racers together for a special type of interview – in which they each ask each other what they have always wanted to know about the other. So “Hutchy” answered questions about the Isle of Man, while “Reiti” told how he made his way from his rookie days to the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, the World Superbike Championship.
Hutchinson can look back on a fantastic season on the BMW S 1000 RR. The Tyco BMW rider celebrated successive victories at the most important road races, the North West 200, the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy and the Ulster Grand Prix, and set numerous new lap records, including a new world record at the Ulster GP, as the fastest road racer of all time, with an average speed of 215.795 km/h (134.089 mph). He also picked up two wins in the Superstock class of the British Superbike Championship and a total of nine podiums, and ended the season in second place overall.
Twenty two-year-old Reiterberger has just completed his first full season in the World Superbike Championship. After he was crowned Superbike IDM champion for the second time in 2015, he finally made the leap to the pinnacle of motorcycle racing in 2016, as a rider for the Althea BMW Racing Team. He proved that he can ride on a level with the world’s elite with numerous top ten positions, including a fifth place in Buriram, Thailand.
Markus Reiterberger: “You are racing at the Isle of Man TT. I just love to watch it. How did you get to do road racing?”
Ian Hutchinson: “Well, I started with riding bikes on the road. I am not from a racing family. I just passed my test when I was 17 and rode on the road. So it is probably more normal for me to go fast on a road than on a track. At the age of 21, I started with club racing, just for fun. From then on, one thing led to the other. The feeling to be able to be flat out on a road is the best.”
Reiterberger: “And you are not scared because it is so dangerous on the Isle of Man?”
Hutchinson: “Yes, of course. Before the race, you are probably five times more nervous than normally on a grid. But as soon as you are off the line it’s gone. You feel in control of everything you do. So you never feel the risk while you are riding - just before the race.”
Reiterberger: “And you know every tree and every stone on the course? You must do…?”
Hutchinson: “Yes, I do, despite the fact that it is a very long circuit on a public road and you have a lot of changes every year. If they have bad weather in winter, the have to re-surface the road in places. People chop down trees and some parts change, but I know the whole circuit.”
Hutchinson: “Did you start from your family being in racing?”
Reiterberger: “Yes, I started when I was four years old, the first time on a self-made bike. My father was a former speedway rider. So actually I wanted to ride speedway, too, but he said: ‘No, we will go and compete in mini bikes.’ I started in 50cc and then the bikes became bigger every year. It is true, I came to racing mostly because of my father and my family.”
Hutchinson: “And you always planned to be in the Superbike World Championship?”
Reiterberger: “Yes. Since I was a small boy I wanted to ride in the Superbike World Championship or in MotoGP. Now I have achieved that, I am here. Now my goal is to become better and to be on the top.”
Hutchinson: “And do you think it is hard for a rider coming from Germany to try to be among the best in the world? Because I don’t know how the German championship works as a step to the world championship.”
Reiterberger: “Yes, it’s generally not easy to get into the Superbike World Championship. As a national championship, it is normally only the British BSB that works well as a step into WorldSBK. I was lucky, because in the last years in the IDM the level was really high with competitors like Javier Forés and Max Neukirchner. And also the lap times were really fast, so I think it was a good time for me to ride there. We, my manager and I, then decided to give it a try in WorldSBK. And now I’m here.”