BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Cognelée, Belgium, 25/05/2016, BMW Motorrad Race Trophy
A dream start to the 2016 season in the International Road Racing Championship (IRRC) has catapulted Vincent Lonbois to the top of the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy. Lonbois has won each of the first four races on his BMW S 1000 RR, fielded by Herpigny Motors BMW Motorrad Belux. He has also set the fastest lap in all four races.
The 25-year-old Belgian contested his first season in the IRRC in 2015, and promptly ended the year in second place behind his team-mate Sébastien Le Grelle. He may have hoped for the kind of start he has enjoyed so far in 2016 – but he certainly didn’t take it for granted.
“After the 2015 season, which was all about learning the circuits in the IRRC, my clear goal for 2016 was to win the title. I prepared meticulously for this season – but to win four races in a row is excellent,” says Lonbois.
The ingredients for this success are talent, a strong bike, and a strong team. The BMW S 1000 RR riders are battling it out among themselves at the front of the field and, in Herpigny Motors BMW Motorrad Belux, Lonbois has a team that has enjoyed success for years now.
“The BMW S 1000 RR is a great and very strong motorbike, and my team is very good,” says Lonbois. “Herpigny Motors knows exactly how to set the bike up, and the crew has a vast wealth of experience in motor racing. To win races, it is not enough to be a good rider – you also need a strong team. Herpigny Motors has gained a huge amount of experience over the years. The team knows the BMW S 1000 RR extremely well and, like me, competes to win and produce the best possible performance. That is why the team and I are working tirelessly to ensure we remain successful.”
With his four wins, Lonbois not only holds a comfortable lead in the IRRC standings, but also leads the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy for the second week in a row. He is impressed by the concept of this unique, global competition for BMW Motorrad racers: “I think the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy is great. This competition gives us riders even more motivation to achieve good results. And the global awareness helps riders to make a name for themselves – that helps them in the future.”
Lonbois knows how important this awareness is. He has had to overcome several set-backs over the course of his career. From 2006 to 2009 he was successful in the Superstock 600 European Championship. Ahead of the 2010 season, he looked like stepping up into Moto2. Lonbois already had a place in the series, “but one week before the race, the team pulled out of the contract and instead gave the bike to a rider who came with a bigger budget. After this bad experience, I was initially unable to continue my international career.” Instead, he rode in the Belgian Supersport 600 Championship in 2011, where he won the title. After that, however, he was forced to take a break from racing: “I simply didn’t have the finances required.”
The turning point came in 2015: Lonbois kick-started his career – on the BMW S 1000 RR. Herpigny Motors BMW Motorrad Belux signed him up, and he immediately won three titles, in the Belgian Superbike Championship, the Dutch Superbike Championship, and the BeNeCup.
Lonbois has spent the majority of his career so far at racing circuits – however, he finds Road Racing particularly fascinating. “Road Racing has an incredible number of fans, and it is fantastic how close the relationship is between the riders and the fans. That is something very special,” says Lonbois. “Furthermore, as a rider you cannot afford to make any mistakes, as a crash can have serious consequences. That is perhaps what makes it so appealing: I love the adrenalin.”
Lonbois describes himself as “very determined” – and that is noticeable when he takes to the track on his RR. He is extremely focussed, very quick, and does not give his opposition a chance. “My determination is the reason I have achieved such a high level in this sport. When I started out on my career at the age of 15, I had never ridden a motorbike before. Therefore, I have had to work hard for everything – and it has paid off,” he says.
Lonbois has already climbed onto the top step of the podium four times this season. He was joined on each occasion by his son, who stood by proudly as his dad received the winner’s trophies. “My son and my wife are my biggest fans – and it is very important to me to enjoy these moments together with him,” said Lonbois.
His family are at the heart of everything he does. If he is not racing, he spends a lot of time with them. And, like many racing drivers, he has a second job – he works in his family’s bakery: “Motorsport is my great passion, but I cannot dedicate 100 per cent of my time to it. I have to work, in order to be able to pursue my passion.”