Munich. The weekend featured the first endurance highlight of the year, namely the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA). The FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) classic ended with a podium for the BMW S 1000 RR. After 24 hours of racing, the #13 RR, run by the Wepol Racing by Penz13.com team, came home third. The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) and the FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship (STK1000) were both at Assen, Netherlands. Loris Baz (FRA) finished in the top eight in both WorldSBK races, while Markus Reiterberger (GER) and Roberto Tamburini (ITA) claimed the second BMW one-two in a week in the STK1000.
FIM Endurance World Championship at Le Mans, France.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA) marked round two of the 2017/18 FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC), which kicked off with the Bol d’Or at Le Castellet (FRA) in September 2017 and ends at Suzuka (JPN) in July 2018. In total, seven BMW teams took on what is one of the toughest endurance races in the world in the EWC Superbike and Superstock Cup classes. In the end, there was cause for celebration: after finishing second at the Bol d’Or, the Wepol Racing by Penz13.com team claimed another spot on the podium at Le Mans. After 24 hours of racing, Michael Laverty (GBR) brought the #13 BMW S 1000 RR home in third place. However, it was far from plain sailing for Laverty and his team-mates Christian Iddon (GBR) and Danny Webb (GBR) – the trio dropped to the back of the field following an early crash, which resulted in a damaged handlebar and an unscheduled stop to replace it. This was followed by another crash during the night, which saw Webb dislocate his shoulder. Despite that, he managed to complete his stint, and the combination of fighting spirit and perfect work in the pits allowed the team to finish in a podium position.
Another top-ten finish came courtesy of the Mercury Racing team in ninth. The #21 BMW S 1000 RR was ridden by Karel Hanika, Jakub Smrz (both CZE) and Sylvain Barrier (FRA). The #56 RR, run by the GERT56 by RS speedbikes team came home 14th overall. The result was good enough to give riders Horst Saiger (LIE), Julian Puffe and Rico Löwe (both GER) fifth place in the Superstock class for the Endurance World Cup.
The Tecmas BMW (#9) team, with Julien da Costa, Camille Hedelin and David Perret (all FRA), and the NRT48 – BMW Motorrad (#48) team, with Kenny Foray (FRA), Peter Hickman (GBR) and Lucy Glöckner (GER), were also in contention for places on the overall podium, but were forced to retire before the end of the race. Two rounds into the season, Wepol Racing by Penz13.com is currently fourth in the EWC team standings, with BMW second in the manufacturers’ competition.
“First of all, I am sorry for my crash in my first stint. However, I tried as hard as I could over the course of the race to make up for my mistake. Considering we had far from a problem-free race, this podium tastes even sweeter. To stand up here at Le Mans is a special feeling.”
“We had some issues and problems, which made it harder for us all – especially when I headed out for my first stint and the handlebar broke after Michael’s crash. The team did a very professional job and I am happy we could bring it home on the podium.”
“I am over the moon. It was my second 24-hour race and we have made it onto the podium twice in two races. Not too bad for an Endurance rookie like me, huh? I am sorry I had that little off during my night stint, but it didn’t cost us too much. I am simply more than happy we are on the podium again.”
MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at Assen, Netherlands.
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) was at the iconic ‘TT Circuit’ in Assen (NED) at the weekend. Loris Baz (FRA) of the Gulf Althea BMW team saw a significant improvement in his fortunes. In Saturday’s race, the Frenchman finished seventh to claim his best result of the season so far. Baz then backed this up with eighth place in Sunday’s race.
FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship in Assen, Netherlands.
Markus Reiterberger (GER) and Roberto Tamburini (ITA) claimed a fantastic one-two for the BMW S 1000 RR at the opening round of this season’s FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship (STK1000) at MotorLand Aragón (ESP) last week. Just seven days later, they were at it again in round two at Assen (NED). Reiterberger dominated the field on his RR, run by the alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW team. He first secured pole position with an advantage of half a second on Saturday, before winning Sunday’s race with a lead of five seconds and setting a new lap record in the process. Behind him, the crowd was treated to an exciting battle for second place, with Tamburini (Berclaz Racing Team SA) coming out on top. Alessandro Delbianco (ITA / Gulf Althea BMW) and Jan Bühn (GER / alpha Racing-Van-Zon-BMW) also finished in the top-ten in eighth and tenth place.
“We had a very good race pace and also the electronics were spot on, so a big credit to BMW Motorrad Motorsport’s Marc Bongers for setting the electronics up perfectly. I want to also thank the entire team that, despite the fact that we were much faster than all the rest already in the practice sessions, continued to work hard and came up with another chassis solution that increased our advantage even more. In the race, we were able to pursue our plan to pull away from the field from pole position on the opening laps and to keep the gap over the entire distance. Right at the beginning, I rode a new lap record, and afterwards I was able to maintain my pace comfortably until the finish and to further increase the gap. In the end I had an advantage of over five seconds. Pole position, another win for us, another win at Assen, increased the overall championship lead – I think we can call that a perfect weekend. Everyone in the team did a 100 per cent perfect job, we made not a single mistake and the atmosphere in the squad is just fantastic.”
MotoAmerica at Austin, USA.
The Superbike class of the MotoAmerica (MA SBK) series held two races as part of the MotoGP weekend at the “Circuit of the Americas” in Austin (USA). Danny Eslick (USA) of the Scheibe Racing team finished eleventh and eighth.
Australian Superbike Championship at The Bend Motorsport Park, Australia.
BMW racer Glenn Allerton (AUS) narrowly missed out on a spot on the podium at the third event of this season’s Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK), which took place at “The Bend Motorsport Park” near Adelaide (AUS). He came home fourth in race two of three on his BMW S 1000 RR, which was run by the NextGen Motorsport team. Allerton was eighth and fifth in the other two races.
MFJ Superbike All Japan Road Race Championship at Suzuka, Japan.
Round two of the 2018 MFJ Superbike All Japan Road Race Championship (MFJ) took place at the weekend. This time, the riders and teams were at Suzuka (JPN). For many, the focus was once again on preparations for the eight-hour race, which will be held at Suzuka in July. This time, no fewer than six BMW riders took to the track. The best-placed of them was Atsumi Cocoro (JPN) of the Tone RT Syncedge 4113 team, who ended the two races in 19th and 18th place. The weekend’s next-best BMW rider was Daisaku Sakai (JPN / Motorrad 39) in 21st and 19th place.