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Imola, Italy, 04/05/2016, FIM Superbike World Championship

Bavaria in Imola

A maypole for Markus Reiterberger

The Markus Reiterberger fan club has become well-known for some very creative ideas, and it came with another one last weekend. Reiterberger‘s home town in Bavaria keeps alive the tradition of celebrating the 1st May by putting up a maypole each year.

As the Althea BMW Racing Team driver was in Imola, Italy on 1st May, to compete in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), his friends and fans decided to surprise him with a proper maypole.

The tree trunk selected was over seven metres long, and painted in the Bavarian colours of white and blue. The traditional themed plaques had a real “Reiti” look: They showed the logos of the Reiterberger fan club, of BMW, of the Althea BMW Racing Team, and of the WorldSBK. They used a motorcycle tyre as the “crown”, and topped the maypole with a picture of Reiterberger on his BMW S 1000 RR.

Totally surprised

The Reiterberger fan club, headed by a board made up of his closest friends, worked on the plan for five weeks. It had to do this in secret to ensure that it was a surprise. This all paid off, as Reiterberger explains: “I didn’t have any idea at all about this, even though we are together almost every day. I was travelling a lot during that period, but when I was home I did wonder why hardly anyone came by in the evenings. But I didn’t really think much of it.“

The maypole was so long that it had to be cut in two to fit it in the fan bus for the trip to Imola. On Saturday evening, the maypole was erected at the camp-site by the racetrack: “It was brilliant, the guys put on a great party.” The fans also showed how much of a bond they feel with Reiterberger by shaving his start number 21 into their hair.

“This support really gives you extra motivation,” says Reiterberger. “After the race on Saturday, I was a bit disappointed. But then we were outside on the camp-site with the fan club, and that did help me to put the disappointment behind me.“

Reiterberger is now concentrating entirely on the race in the WorldSBK. From 13th to 15th May, the Superbike World Championship will be visiting Sepang in Malaysia. This is a new track for the Althea BMW Racing Team rider, but that is not a problem for him: “I can familiarise myself with new circuits pretty quickly. What’s important now is to get the right set-up and then to get the right result in the races.“

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