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BMW Motorrad Motorsport

Munich, Germany, 19/08/2015, Superbike IDM / International German Championship

The keys to success

Dominance on the BMW S 1000 RR

He stormed to victory on the BMW S 1000 RR, wrapping up the title with races still to come: Markus Reiterberger has made his mark on the SUPERBIKE*IDM / International German Championship (IDM). Of the 14 races held so far this season, Reiterberger has won 11, finishing runner-up in the remaining three. It is this impressive record that saw him crowned 2015 IDM Superbike champion in Assen, Holland, on the penultimate race weekend of the season.

But what makes the BMW rider so incredibly strong this year? Reiterberger and his team principal at Van Zon-Remeha-BMW, Werner Daemen, reveal the key factors behind his success.

Success factor: the bike

Reiterberger believes that a key factor in his success is his bike – the 2015 BMW S 1000 RR. “The new bike is the decisive factor,” the newly-crowned champion emphasises. “The entire bike is even better than last year’s. We now have a better chassis and the engine is more powerful. Furthermore, the new BMW electronics have made life a lot easier.”

His Van Zon-Remeha-BMW team principal Werner Daemen agrees: “The 2014 bike was very good, but this year’s is far better. You notice that all the changes that BMW Motorrad has incorporated in the new RR are taking the bike one hundred per cent in the right direction. That has made us a few tenths of a second faster per lap.”

A glance at the list of fastest times backs up this point: Reiterberger set a new lap record for the IDM Superbike series on every track this season. And he has dominated a series, in which the general standard is very high. His opponents are also extremely quick – but Reiterberger is just even faster.

“The standard in the IDM is really high. You could see that on the last race weekend in Assen,” says the BMW rider. “Josh Brookes was making a guest appearance – a world-class rider who has perfect control of his bike. He leads the British Superbike Championship, which is the strongest national Superbike championship in the world yet had to settle for third and fourth in Assen. We have Xavi Forés in the field: he has finished fourth and fifth in the Superbike World Championship this year. We could also make a very good comparison with other championships in Assen. When you compare our lap times with those in the BSB and Superbike World Championship, we were right up there with them.”

Reiterberger clocked a fastest race lap of 1:36.0 minutes in Assen – just two tenths of a second slower than the Superbike World Championship lap record, set by world championship leader Jonathan Rea in April.

Success factor: the rider

Reiterberger may only be 21 years old, but he is already a very mature rider. This makes him another key factor in his own success. “He has always been very talented – I never doubted that. However, he has matured and grown up. Both on and off the racetrack,” explains his long-term team principal, Daemen. “He prepared meticulously over the winter. He did a lot of physical training and really paid attention to aspects such as nutrition. He has learned how to give feedback to our engineers, in order to allow them to find the ideal bike set-up for him. He also approaches the races differently: he often rides very tactically now, which he didn’t used to do. He never used to just ride in a headless manner, but he increasingly rides a more tactical race now. While others go flat-out from start to finish, he paces himself very well. He can ride ten controlled laps in a row, and then really push towards the end. Quite simply, Markus has become a better rider in every aspect.”

And what does Reiterberger make of his own development? “As a rider you learn something new on every lap. There is always room for improvement, and fortunately I have learned a lot,” he says. “I discovered new things at every circuit: what line to ride and how I can improve by a few tenths. I have also learned a lot when it comes to race tactics. That has really improved me as a rider, and I think it was another key reason why we are now champions.”

Success factor: the team

Another key factor in Reiterberger’s success is the job done by the Van Zon-Remeha-BMW team. Werner Daemen’s outfit and the rider have formed a well-oiled team for many years – and Reiterberger knows he can depend on the guys in the pit lane.

“The team is set-up superbly and does a fantastic job at every race,” “Reiti” confirms. “We have always been able to find the perfect set-up for the bike – even with the additional weight we have had to carry. The teamwork is always fantastic, and everyone does their very best. That is another reason for our success.”

“We are all pulling in the same direction. This is something the rider is well aware of. And he is even faster when he knows that he has the full support of everyone in the team,” adds Daemen.

Success factor: the support

The support from Munich has also played a key role in the success of Reiterberger and Daemen. Van Zon-Remeha-BMW enjoys comprehensive support from BMW Motorrad Deutschland and BMW Motorrad Motorsport. “That was vital for us. You can only be successful in a championship like the IDM with this kind of support,” team principal Daemen stresses. “We sat down together in September 2014 and formulated our goals for 2015. Thanks to this support, we were able to start our preparations in November and December. That meant we were perfectly positioned to start the new season in spring. The cooperation with Munich is outstanding: if we need anything, they help us immediately.”

There is always on engineer from BMW Motorrad Motorsport on-site at every race weekend. “That is hugely important for us – with the set-up of the electronics, for example. We have top people from Munich at the track at every race, and the cooperation is superb. That is definitely a very important factor,” says Reiterberger.

Reiterberger and his team still have one race weekend to come in the IDM: the season finale at the Hockenheimring from 25th to 27th September. The newly-crowned champion is keen to continue his winning run there.

Before then, however, “Reiti” will take to the endurance circuit with BMW MOTORRAD France Penz13.com. This Saturday (22nd August) sees Oschersleben host the third round of the 2015 FIM Endurance World Championship. The EWC season ends with the prestigious 24-hour “Bol d’Or” in Le Castellet, southern France, on 19th/20th September.