BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Coleraine, Northern Ireland, 20/05/2015, BMW Road Race Challenge
The winning streak of BMW Motorrad in road racing continues: Last week, the prestigious North West 200 in Northern Ireland kicked off the international road racing season – with the BMW S 1000 RR being the 1000 cc bike to beat. Privateer BMW Motorrad riders claimed a double win for BMW Motorrad: Tyco BMW rider Alastair Seeley was victorious in the Superbike race on the 8.970 mile Triangle Circuit, while local hero Lee Johnston (ECR/Burdens) won the Superstock race with Seeley finishing second. The engineers from BMW Motorrad Motorsport were on site to support the BMW teams in the technical preparations.
The International North West 200 near Coleraine, which dates back to 1929, marked the first major event of the season. In the next months, the legendary Isle of Man TT, the Ulster GP and the Macau Grand Prix will follow. These four events are also combined in the new “BMW Combined Road Race Challenge”, which counts towards the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy. After several wins in national road race events in preparation for the season, the BMW Motorrad teams tackled the North West 200 with a lot of confidence – and their expectations were not disappointed.
Man of the day was Tyco BMW rider Seeley. He took a fabulous Superbike victory with his BMW S 1000 RR, and in doing so equalled Robert Dunlop’s all-time record of 15 wins at the North West 200. “I’m a bit overwhelmed if I’m honest. To have equalled Robert’s record in such a short space of time… I’m stuck for words,” said Seeley, who also did the fastest race lap. “It is just amazing for me and the Tyco BMW team. Big credit to all the boys for a big effort this North West and, of course, BMW Motorrad for providing top class machinery.” Philip Neill, Tyco BMW team manager, added: “This is an extremely important event for us and to take our first victory for Tyco BMW in our first year together is amazing and testament to the new BMW S 1000 RR.”
Finding the perfect set-up for the characteristics of the North West 200 enabled Tyco BMW and the engineers of BMW Motorrad Motorsport to make full use of the bike’s potential. Seeley also races the RR in the Superstock class of the British Superbike Championship BSB. Thanks to the experiences from there, he and the technicians had already found a good base set-up for the Superstock bike, which was also transferred to the Superbike at the North West 200. In fine tuning the machine for the Triangle Circuit, the specialists from Munich then mainly adapted the chassis. With their experience and the data gathered in road racing, as well as in series like BSB, the Endurance World Championship and the IDM, they perfectly adapted the BMW S 1000 RR to the special requirements of the fast but not too bumpy Triangle Circuit.
Local hero Johnston finished the Superbike race in fourth with his ECR/Burdens BMW S 1000 RR, directly followed by Michael Rutter (Penz13.com Bathams by BMW) in fifth. Seeley’s Tyco BMW team-mates, William Dunlop and Guy Martin, are already fully focused on the Isle of Man TT and used the North West 200 to continue their preparations for the season highlight. Dunlop finished seventh in the Superbike race, Martin came home in eighth. BMW Motorrad riders David Johnson (Ice Valley by Motorsave Trade) and Keith Amor (Rig Deluge Road Racing) completed the top ten. In total, ten BMW Motorrad riders finished in the top-13.
The following race for the Superstock class saw a one-two for the BMW S 1000 RR. Seeley started from pole-position and was on the hunt for his next victory, but this time life was not easy for him. He and fellow BMW rider Johnston fought a thrilling duel for the win. In the end, Johnston was the winner with a narrow margin of 0.192 seconds on Seeley. In total, six RRs crossed the line in the top ten: Dunlop was fifth with his Tyco BMW RR, Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles) was sixth, Amor eighth and Johnson tenth.
The road racing riders and teams are now heading to the Isle of Man. The famous tourist trophy will start on 30th May, with the highlight, the Senior TT, being held on 12th June.