BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Assen, The Netherlands, 12/08/2015, Superbike IDM / International German Championship
He has dominated the season in the SUPERBIKE*IDM / International German Championship (IDM) – and has now been crowned champion with races still to come: Van Zon-Remeha-BMW rider Markus Reiterberger is the 2015 IDM champion. Having previously won the championship in 2013, he secured his second title in style: with a brace of wins on the penultimate race weekend of the season in Assen, the Netherlands.
Reiterberger has won 11 of the season’s 14 races so far, finishing runner-up in the other three. He has done the double on his BMW S 1000 RR at four of the seven race weekends. With 335 points to his name, Reiterberger now holds an unassailable overall lead of 76 points.
Reiterberger had never before tasted success at the “Cathedral of Speed”, as the Assen TT Circuit is also known, but that was all to change at the weekend. The additional seven kilograms of success weight on his RR proved no problem. Reiterberger claimed pole position in Saturday’s Superpole – just ahead of replacement Yamaha rider Josh Brookes, the overall leader in the British Superbike Championship (BSB) and something of an Assen specialist. The only adversity Reiterberger really struggled with during the Superpole came in the form of a wasp. It found its way into his leathers on the warm-down lap and stung him three times.
In the first of the two races, Reiterberger wasted little time in pulling away from the rest of the field. He did slow up a little on the closing laps, as his rear tyre had worn significantly, but by that time the win was in the bag. He also set the fastest lap once again in race one – with a sensational time of 1:36.0 minutes. That time was just two tenths of a second outside the SBK lap record clocked by World Championship leader Jonathon Rea in the Superbike World Championship in mid April.
Coming into race two, eighth place would have been sufficient to wrap up the title, but “Reiti” was hungry for another win. Fans were first treated to a thrilling four-bike battle for the lead, before the BMW rider moved to the head of the field on lap nine. After 15 laps of exciting racing, he crossed the finish line first with a lead of just 0.1 seconds. The slow-down lap saw Reiterberger take the plaudits as the newly-crowned champion.
“Winning twice to secure the championship is an incredible feeling. That beats everything,” said Reiterberger. “I took an aggressive line on the final lap, to make sure nobody could pass me. I am so happy to ride for this team. They have provided me with a perfect bike all season. It is awesome.” After the race, the Van Zon-Remeha-BMW team immediately stuck the number 1 on Reiterberger’s BMW S 1000 RR – in the Bavarian blue and white diamond pattern. “The number 1 is back. I am delighted,” said the two-time IDM champion.
Reiterberger can now look forward to the season finale at the end of September with absolutely no pressure. Despite this, his goal will clearly be to claim another double on his Van Zon-Remeha-BMW S 1000 RR.
Reiterberger’s team-mate at Van Zon-Remeha-BMW, Bastien Mackels, also showed real fighting spirit. The Belgian had been involved in a big crash at Schleizer Dreieck the previous weekend, in which he suffered a sprained ankle and painful bruising to his hip and ribs. However, Mackels gritted his teeth and defied the pain. He finished fifth both overall and in the Superbike class (IDM SBK) in the first of the two races in Assen. “I felt good on the bike. We found a good set-up, particularly at the front,” said Mackels afterwards. He was keen to stress that he could have challenged for a place on the podium, had he been fully fit. In race two he came home 11th overall – sixth in the Superbike class.
Wilbers-BMW-Racing rider Matěj Smrz was suffering from a painful knee and shoulder in Assen, following a crash in practice. Despite this, he battled his way to a top-five finish in race two. Like Mackels in the opening race, Smrz crossed the finish line in fifth place both overall and in the Superbike class. “Race two worked out as I had hoped. I led the chasing pack. I sometimes dropped back a bit, but was able to fight my way back into fifth place,” said the Czech rider. He finished 13th overall (sixth in the Superbike class) in race one. He got off to a poor start, after which it was difficult to make up ground, despite showing good race pace.
The Van Zon-Remeha-BMW team also had cause for celebration in the Superstock class (IDM STK): guest starter Vincent Lonbois claimed a podium finish. The Belgian was third in the Superstock class (eighth overall) in race two. He had previously finished seventh in the STK class (12th overall) in the opening race.
Assen was a home race for Van Zon-Remeha-BMW rider Pepijn Bijsterbosch: the racetrack is just 80 kilometres from his home. Sixth place (11th overall) in the Superstock class made him the best-placed BMW rider in race one. He was eighth (15th overall) in race two.
Wilbers rider Lucy Glöckner came home eighth in the first race (14th overall), but failed to finish race two. Michael Filla (BMW Sikora Motorsport) was 12th and tenth (20th and 19th overall). Marc Neumann (Neumann Racing Team) finished 14th and 13th (22nd overall on both occasions). Ireneusz Sikora was 15th in the Superstock class (23rd and 24th overall) in both races on his BMW Sikora Motorsport RR. Dominik Vincon (BMW Stilgenbauer) was also in the points, finishing ninth in race two (16th overall).