BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Munich, Germany, 14/12/2016, BMW Motorrad Race Trophy
They normally contest diverse race series around the world on their BMW S 1000 RRs, but once a year they gather in Munich from all corners of the world: The BMW Motorrad Motorsport Season Finale is the BMW privateers’ family reunion.
It was time last Friday: With a fabulous party in the BMW Museum at the foot of the four-cylinder, the international BMW Motorrad Motorsport family celebrated the successful 2016 racing season. The best participants of the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy and their teams attended, and they weren’t only from Europe, but also travelled from Asia, North America and South Africa. And they all agreed: It was a fantastic evening.
The focus of the official part was on the tribute to the successful BMW privateers. The best 15 participants in the 2016 BMW Motorrad Race Trophy, as well as the nine teams and riders who won the title in their championship in 2016 were presented with their trophies and cash prizes. This year was also the first time that cheques for 500 euros were presented to the “Race Finishers of the Year”. And the best placed BMW riders of the individual race series who were not in the top 15 were also called onto the stage. Including WorldSBK rider Jordi Torres, Daisaku Sakai from Japan, Nasarudin Mat Yusop from Malaysia and Lance Isaacs from South Africa.
There was also great applause for the HP Race Support engineers, who travelled across the globe and were on hand to provide advice and assistance to the more than 200 customer teams throughout the world. Heiner Faust, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing BMW Motorrad, called them onto the stage and thanked them for their tireless commitment. Then Faust wished the previous Technical Director of BMW Motorrad Motorsport, Berthold Hauser, all the best on his well-deserved retirement – with a few amusing anecdotes from the 35 years that Hauser was part of BMW Motorrad.
Then at around 22:30 it was time to “party on!”. The bar opened and on stage the ladies from PUSH IT UP warmed up the guests. The BMW riders really went for it on terrain other than the racetrack: on the dance floor. At the forefront: Race Trophy winner Jordan Szoke. Last year the Canadian was thwarted by a plaster cast on his leg and crutches, but this time he was soon to be found on the dance floor.
“Of course we will celebrate, but not too wildly,” said Szoke, who was once again joined in Munich by his wife Amy and son Wolfgang, laughing. “We enjoy the evening, talk to our friends who we get to meet at these events and have a good time.”
These friends include Lance Isaacs from South Africa. Szoke and Isaacs formed a well-oiled party team in recent years and 2016 was no different. Like Szoke, Isaacs also always looks forward to “meeting the rest of the BMW family at the season finale.” The South African was part of the first Race Trophy in 2014, and thinks it is “fantastic what BMW has achieved. It is remarkable how the BMW family keeps on growing and getting stronger, and it will be interesting to see how this development continues.”
The Finnish sidecar world champions Pekka Päivärinta and Kirsi Kainulainen were also in the thick of the action. “It’s great and I am really glad that we were able to come here,” said Kainulainen, who became the first ever female road racing world champion in 2016. “It is a big party and it is so much fun meeting all the other BMW riders. BMW were a tremendous help to us and we are very proud to be part of this family.” The two “Flying Finns” had their world champion sidecar with them. And it wasn’t just there to be marvelled at for the season finale, it will now remain as a permanent exhibit in the BMW Museum.
Like Päivärinta/Kainulainen, there were a few BMW racers at the season finale for the first time. For example, Isle of Man TT winner Ian Hutchinson, who celebrated with his British Superbike Championship colleagues, among other people. “It is great to be invited to such an event, and it is a fantastic gesture of BMW Motorrad to honour the riders for their outstanding achievements this year,” said Tyco BMW rider “Hutchy”, who went home with two trophies and cheques: for fifth place in the Race Trophy and winning the title in the BMW Combined Road Race Challenge.
Spain’s Jordi Torres also made his debut at the season finale. “It is fantastic, since you see the idea behind BMW Motorrad Motorsport Racing at this event,” said the World Superbike Championship rider from the Althea BMW Racing team. “It’s great to see so many riders from all the various championships and disciplines, from circuit racing, road racing and even sidecar racing. For me it is a new experience to meet riders from the Alpe Adria Road Racing Championship or the Canadian Superbike Championship, for example. It is so much fun celebrating together!”
Lukáš Pešek and Kenny Foray, the Superbike champion in the Alpe Adria Road Racing Championship and runner-up in the French Superbike Championship, were also celebrating together. The duo may have secured tenth (Pešek) and 11th (Foray) places in the Race Trophy with their results in different championships, but they are also team mates: in the FIM World Endurance Championship.
“I’m proud to be here since there were so many riders from many different countries in the Race Trophy, and they all delivered great racing,” said Foray. “It’s fantastic that BMW organises this type of event for the BMW riders. And it is great to meet all the other guys in the BMW family.” Pešek added: “I’m really happy to be here. It is my first time and it’s great to see a few people with whom I used to race when we were young. Now we are older, but we still meet up. It’s fantastic and I really enjoy it.”
There are plenty of photos from the BMW Motorrad Motorsport Season Finale 2016 on our website and on the BMW Motorrad Motorsport Facebook page.