BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Nürburgring, Germany, 17/06/2015, Superbike IDM / International German Championship
Van Zon-Remeha-BMW rider Markus Reiterberger was once again unbeatable on the fourth race weekend of the International German Championship SUPERBIKE*IDM (IDM) at the Nürburgring: he claimed wins number six and seven of the season on his BMW S 1000 RR. He is now preparing for his wildcard appearance in the World Superbike Championship in Misano this weekend. In the Superstock class, Reiterberger’s team-mate, Pepijn Bijsterbosch, and BMW Stilgenbauer rider Dominik Vincon both claimed spots on the podium. A large contingent of guest starters from the Netherlands made for a packed field in the Eifel Mountains: in total, 39 riders competed in the Superbike (IDM SBK) and Superstock (IDM STK) classes.
Markus Reiterberger started the weekend at the Nürburgring in familiar fashion: he clocked the fastest time in all three practice sessions on a hot Friday, and also completed a successful race simulation. However, the conditions were different for the first qualifying session on Saturday morning, as the track was still damp following some heavy rain. The BMW rider opted for soft wet tyres and focussed on qualifying for the afternoon’s crucial Superpole. By that time it was dry again, and Reiterberger once again set the pace.
The Superpole session saw Reiterberger claim pole position for the second time this season – half a second faster than his rivals. “That was superb, as we had a lot of work to do before the session,” said Reiterberger. “In the second qualifying session, the bike did not feel like it had done before. We thought there might be a technical problem and rebuilt the bike. We finished just two minutes before the start of the Superpole. Then the plug for the electronics came loose. Therefore, I had to ride without traction control and the engine brake was almost on. Despite this, we still did enough to claim pole.”
In Sunday’s opening race, Reiterberger claimed his sixth win of the season. He led the field from the start and crossed the finish line with a lead of five seconds. He then continued for a ‘lap of honour’, as he was not entirely sure whether the marshal had actually waved the chequered flag or just held it out. To make sure, he completed one more flying lap of the circuit.
In the second race, Reiterberger emerged triumphant from a battle with Spain’s Xavi Forés en route to win number seven of the season. The Van Zon-Remeha-BMW rider briefly dropped back at the start, but had soon fought his way back into second place behind Forés. He studied the Spaniard for a while before passing him and taking the lead on lap seven. “After that I wanted to pull clear, but he was strong and I could not shake him off,” said Reiterberger. “I then decided not to take any risks and only rode at 95 per cent, as I did not want to make any silly mistakes with one eye on the championship. I also wanted to let Xavi pass me a couple of times, so that I could watch him and them overtake him again at the end. However, I think he smelled a rat, as he stayed behind me. I had to come up with another tactic, so pushed myself to the limit again and ultimately crossed the line with a gap of two seconds.”
In the 2015 season’s eight races so far, Reiterberger has won seven times and finished runner-up once. He now leads the championship with 195 points and has extended his lead to 55 points. The “Balance of Power” regulations mean the BMW rider must now carry even more additional success weight: he must load an additional six kilograms onto his bike for the next races, meaning the BMW S 1000 RR must weigh 174 kilograms without the rider.
Reiterberger now turns his attention to another challenge: he and the Van Zon-Remeha-BMW team have already travelled to Misano in Italy, where, this weekend, he will make the first of three wildcard appearances in the FIM World Superbike Championship (WSBK) this season. “We do not have a lot of experience with the World Championship bike, but the function test went really well and I feel very comfortable on this RR. We will now have to wait and see what is possible. Our minimum goal is to finish in the top ten,” said Reiterberger, looking ahead.
The event at the Nürburgring also saw Reiterberger’s team-mate, Bastien Mackels, make his comeback in the Superbike class of the IDM after a long time out with an injury. The Belgian had broken his elbow and wrist during pre-season testing and had to undergo two operations. He is now back on his Van Zon-Remeha-BMW S 1000 RR and, although still not 100 per cent fit, was immediately one of the fastest riders in the field again. Unfortunately his first race back came to a premature end shortly after the start, when he was caught on the rear wheel by another rider and crashed out. However, Mackels bounced back to finish fourth in race two and demonstrate that he is a force to be reckoned with in the future.
Matej Smrz (Wilbers-BMW-Racing-Team) also crashed out in race one. The Czech rider then finished sixth in the IDM SBK class in race two (seventh overall).
The podium in the Superstock class (IDM STK) featured a BMW Motorrad privateer after both races. Pepijn Bijsterbosch (Van Zon-Remeha-BMW) came home third on his RR in race one (seventh overall). In race two, Dominik Vincon (BMW Stilgenbauer) finished runner-up (eighth overall) to earn his place on the podium.
Wilbers-BMW rider Lucy Glöckner was very unlucky. She crashed during Saturday morning’s qualifying session and fell awkwardly on her left shoulder. Once in hospital, it was determined that she had injured the ligaments in her shoulder joint. That signalled the end of her race weekend, and she will now be out of action for a while. Glöckner will undergo another MRI scan at the end of the week, and hopes to be back on her RR soon. The entire BMW Motorrad Motorsport community wishes her a speedy recovery!