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BMW Motorrad Motorsport

Braselton, US, 20/04/2016, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Road Racing

Racing in America

Scheibe Racing: Puerta as speedy substitute

Steve Scheibe is a real racing expert. He returned to racing in 2015 after a break and has contested the Motoamerica FIM/AMA North American Road Racing Series (AMA) with his team Scheibe Racing since then. Steve Rapp is the regular rider, another veteran. The American has been a professional racer for 20 years. 2016 sees Rapp contest his second AMA season on the Superstock version of the team's BMW S 1000 RR.

However, at the second event of the season last weekend in Road Atlanta near Braselton in the US state of Georgia, Rapp was otherwise engaged due to other professional commitments. The 44-year-old from California has a “second job”: He is a pilot for a commercial airline.

However, team boss Scheibe didn’t want to miss out on starting in Road Atlanta. His project is supported by brakes manufacturer Hayes, who uses the experience gained on the racetrack to develop new sportbike brakes. And since Road Atlanta is one of the American tracks on which the bikes brake extremely hard, data can be collected perfectly there.

From series to Superbike

So Scheibe looked for a rider to represent Rapp in Georgia – and got lucky in the paddock of the AMA Supersport class. He got 23-year-old Colombian Tomas Puerta on board, who was crowned champion on the BMW S 1000 RR in the Latin-American Superbike Championship last season. He also works with the RR as a coach in driver trainings.

“I had been out of the sport for a little while, so I didn’t really know who was doing what,” said Scheibe. "With Steve it was easy since I knew him from the old days. Then it turned out that Tomas has experience with the current BMW S 1000 RR. He was willing to ride and able to get a Motoamerica Superbike license."

However, Puerta did not race on Rapp’s RR – rather on a newly built Superbike. “I really wanted to get into Superbike all along,” said team boss Scheibe.

So he took his spares machine, a 2016 production RR, and within a day, built the motorcycle into a racing machine that conforms with the Superbike regulations. This meant Puerta was equipped to start the opening sessions on Friday. He ended up finishing in the points in both races. He finished race one in Road Atlanta in 13th, and crossed the finish line in 15th in the second race. Puerta's summary: “I think that we did a really good job when you think that the bike was still street-legal on Thursday.”