‘No fear, no limit’ is the daunting description of one of the most challenging enduro events on the European racing calendar – and it did not disappoint competitors at the Akrapovic Offroad Weekend in Istrien, Croatia. Not all would complete the 35km stretch of unforgiving terrain on March 7, but one rider finished way ahead of the competition: three-times Austrian Cross Country (ACC) Champion Rudi Pöschl and his BMW G450X.
His victory at the eighth annual Akrapovic Offroad Weekend is a positive sign for the start of the 2010 enduro season. It follows a successful 2009 for the BMW rider, in which he achieved 24 podium finishes, including 13 wins, five second places and six third places. “With last year’s overall win in the Austrian Enduro Trophy and third place overall in the ACC, the performance of the Rudi Pöschl/BMW G450X combination was clearly proven,” says Friedrich Reichl, Motorcycle Manager at BMW Motorrad Austria.
But Pöschl wasn’t the only rider looking for his first podium finish of 2010 at the Akrapovic Offroad Weekend. The standard was high on the Saturday’s Hobby and Expert Cross Country Races, in which a total of 200 riders took part. Pöschl was beaten by Werner Müller on the 10km, two-and-a-half hour Expert course, and finished ahead of Markus Tischart and Mario Hirschmugel in fourth.
This left Pöschl in second place to start the No Fear, No Limit Hard Enduro Race on the following day. However, Müller was unable to start the race due to a torn clutch cable/lead, which allowed Pöschl to take full advantage. After almost two hours, the BMW rider completed the course ten minutes ahead of second-place Bernd Jagersberger and 37 minutes ahead of Erich Brandauer.
“For me, it went perfectly,” says Pöschl. “I got away well at the start and during the race I had no difficulties whatsoever. The BMW G450X ran like clockwork.”
Pöschl has been competing with the BMW sports enduro motorcycle since 2009, after he was initially persuaded by Reichl to switch manufacturers in autumn 2008. “The technical innovations of the G450X quickly convinced him that it was the right decision,” says Reichl. “The bike’s reliability, engine performance, handling, chassis and outstanding traction give Rudi the best technical conditions in which to improve on last year’s achievements,” he adds.
After the win in Croatia, Pöschl will continue to focus on his main goals for 2010: the ACC and the Austrian Enduro Trophy. Reichl believes he has the potential to win both series, as well as compete in additional enduro events such as the Erzberg Harescramble and the Grantibeisser-Light in Schrems.
“The key to Rudi’s success is his professional attitude to sport, his strong desire to win and his clever racing tactics,” says Reichl. “Although he works full time, he uses every spare minute to improve himself physically and technically. He is extremely disciplined and professional. That also makes the co-operation between Rudi and us so successful,” he adds.
First prize at this year’s extreme enduro event in Croatia was a complete exhaust system provided by leading manufacturer Akrapovic. The brand is renowned for producing high-quality motorcycle exhausts and works with several factory teams. It not only has a presence in all racing categories, but also associates itself with 32 world championship titles. It is perhaps the start of another promising partnership for the Austrian rider and his BMW motorcycle, not least a deserving reward for his latest achievement.
“This is the first time that I’ve taken part in this race,” says Pöschl, “and I really enjoyed it. I’ll definitely do it again.” No fear, no limit? No problem, it seems.