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BMW Motorrad Motorsport

Manhattan Beach, USA, 11/05/2016, BMW Motorrad Motorsport

Living his dreams

Anniversary season for Steve Rapp

2016 is the anniversary season for BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider Steve Rapp as he has been a professional race rider for 20 years now. The Californian, however, also has a “second life“. When he is not racing his Scheibe Racing BMW S 1000 RR in the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Series (AMA), Rapp is high up in the air – as a commercial airline pilot.

It was back in 1996 when Rapp started his professional racing career. And now, 20 years later, he is still far from thinking about retirement. Motorcycle racing is still his passion. “I’m a competitive person, and it’s a way to stay competitive, in a competitive field,” Rapp explained. “Also, I love motorcycles. And I love racing motorcycles. I’ve been doing it for so long that sometimes when I take five or six months off it feels weird.”

His first AMA season on the BMW S 1000 RR was 2011, when Rapp raced for San Diego BMW Motorsports. When Steve Scheibe started his Scheibe Racing Project with the BMW S 1000 RR in the 2015 season, Rapp was enthusiastic from the word go. “I knew Steve from when he was running the Harley Davidson superbike programme, and I knew he had a lot of experience and knew how to run a professional team,” he said. “I knew that we wouldn’t have the budget like he used to but it’s something we can work towards, and I felt like we could be successful together.”

2016 is the second season Rapp and Scheibe Racing compete together in the AMA.

Flying high

Motorcycle racing, however, is not Rapp’s only profession and passion. For a few years, he has had a not less exciting second job – being a commercial airline pilot. How did that happen? “Flying was my second love, after motorcycles,” Rapp explained. “Many years ago I started to fly just for fun, and while racing was where I earned my money. After things changed after the economic crises around 2009 and 2010, I knew I had to do something to make money and so I figured if I can’t race for a living, I might as well fly for a living. It made the most sense to me. It’s the closest thing to racing.”

For two years, Rapp has been flying for Virgin America on US connections and to Mexico.

When he is not racing in the AMA or flying across the continent, Rapp enjoys his days off at home in Manhattan Beach in California. This combination seems like a prime example for an exciting lifestyle.

Living the dream – this is something people would love to do. Rapp admits that he is actually doing it: “It’s crazy to think that most people don’t get to live the dream even once, but I’m getting to do it twice or even more. The racing, the flying, living in Southern California, I feel very lucky.”

Next up on his AMA schedule is the Virginia International Raceway, were Rapp will take to the track again on his BMW S 1000 RR this coming weekend (13th to 15th May).