Le Mans. A long wait eventually came to an end this week for the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team. The whole team met up at the racetrack for the first time for many months, as it attended a test at Le Mans (FRA). The last time that happened was back in December at round two of the 2019/20 FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC) season in Sepang (MAS). The team completed two days of testing at ‘Circuit de la Sarthe’ in preparation for the coming races. Kenny Foray (FRA), Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR) and Markus Reiterberger (GER) alternated in the saddle of the #37 BMW S 1000 RR and of a test bike.
In the first two races of its FIM EWC debut season, held at Le Castellet (FRA) and Sepang, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team twice finished third on the podium. The FIM EWC calendar has since been modified as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Round three of the season, the famous ‘24 Heures Motos’ at Le Mans, was postponed from April to the summer and will now take place on 29th and 30th August. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team and Team Manager Werner Daemen (BEL) began their final preparations for the 24-hour race and the rest of the season at the Le Mans test on Thursday and Friday.
Quotes after the test at Le Mans.
Werner Daemen, Team Manager BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team: “The test went really well. All our three riders had the same positive feeling on the bike. We are also happy with the progress we made with the BMW S 1000 RR. All was positive regarding suspension, tyres and so on. The team worked really well together like a clockwork and also the atmosphere in the garage was great. Our lap-times were also very fast, so we are really happy with the entire test.”
Kenny Foray: “The test was really good. The pace of our BMW S 1000 RR was really fast, and that also was the case with all of us three riders. Me personally, I feel really good on the bike. We tried a lot of new parts and also the tyres worked very well. So overall we can say that we are happy with everything on the bike and looking forward to the race.”
Ilya Mikhalchik: “I am happy with the test. We tried a lot of new things to further improve on the track. I also did a few stints as a race simulation and the pace was really strong. It was really enjoyable to ride the bike. The team did a great job, the BMW S 1000 RR is amazing and we made a big step with the bike from the last race. It was a great test. All three of us riders set nearly the same lap-time, everyone is fast on a race simulation as well as on a qualifying lap. Now I am looking forward to the race at Le Mans. We are ready.”
Markus Reiterberger: “We had a very comprehensive test programme with three riders on two bikes. The team had prepared that perfectly, and we were able to tick all boxes on our list. On the long runs, we focused on saving fuel and preserving the material. We also did a lot of tyre testing. Another point on the list was to work on a set-up for the 24-hour race that suits all three of us. Regarding lap times, we all three have been pretty fast. It was a great test and achieved a lot on these two days. I think that we are very well prepared. Our package is a good base for the Le Mans race weekend.”