It was a busy weekend for international BMW racers with wins and podiums in five different championship classes… At Le Mans (FR), the famous 24-hour race marked the curtain raiser for the 2016 FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC). The FIM Sidecar World Championship (SWC) also held its first race of the year at Le Mans. The British Superbike Championship 2016 (BSB) kicked off at Silverstone. The BMW S1000RR was also in action in at the Superbike Series Brasil (BRSBK) in Sao Paulo (BR) and the Motoamerica FIM/AMA North American Road Racing Series (AMA) in Austin (US).
FIM Endurance World Championship at Le Mans, France.
Last weekend saw the first endurance race of the year for the BMW S1000RR: the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) kicked off its 2016 season with the prestigious 24 hours of Le Mans (FR). Seven BMW teams tackled this classic race in the Superbike (EWC SBK) and Superstock classes (EWC STK).
When the lights went out on Saturday afternoon, it was a BMW S1000RR starting from the front of the grid. The Penz13.com BMW Motorrad Team, which is contesting its second season in the highest category, the EWC SBK, had secured pole position in Friday’s qualifying. During the first seven and a half race hours, riders Kenny Foray (FR), Mathieu Gines (FR) and Lukáš Pešek (CZ) were constantly fighting at the front with their number 13 RR. Unfortunately, the team had to retire during the night for safety reasons as damage led to the risk of dropping oil on the track.
The number 48 BMW S1000RR of Völpker NRT48 by Schubert Motors finished the race in a strong seventh overall. In addition, riders Bastien Mackels (BE), Dominik Vincon (DE) and Stefan Kerschbaumer (AT) secured third on the podium in the Superstock class EWC STK. Also the remaining BMW teams successfully completed the 24-hour distance: the Tecmas Racing Team – BMW (18th overall), GERT56 HMT by RS Speedbikes (31st overall), 24Racing – Piste Libre – Epsilon (36th overall), LRP Poland (43rd) and the IVR BMW Motorrad CSEU team (45th). On the IVR BMW Motorrad CSEU BMW S1000RR, Roland Resch (AT) and Martin Choy (BG) shared duties between them, after their teammate Janez Prosenik (SI) was seriously injured in a crash at the beginning of the race. The whole BMW Motorrad Motorsport community wishes Janez a speedy recovery.
British Superbike Championship at Silverstone, Great Britain.
It was a great season opener in the British Superbike Championship (BSB) for the BMW S1000RR, with a win and two further podium finishes in the Superbike class (BSB SBK) and a 1-2-3-4-5 in the Superstock class (BSB STK).
The first of the two Superbike races held at Silverstone (GB) was dominated by Tyco BMW rider Michael Laverty (GB). He took an early lead and stayed up at the front until the finish line. Winner Laverty was joined on the podium by his Tyco BMW teammate Christian Iddon (GB) in third place. In race two, Iddon again crossed the line in third, celebrating his first-ever double podium in the series. Laverty came home sixth. In the championship classification, Laverty and Iddon are ranked second and third respectively after the first round.
Four other BMW S1000RR racers also collected championship points at Silverstone. Lee Jackson (GB / Buildbase BMW Motorrad) claimed two top-eight finishes, crossing the line in eighth and seventh respectively. His teammate Richard Cooper (GB) ended the races in 12th and 11th. Former WorldSBK racer Jakub Smrz (CZ) is competing in the BSB this year on a Smiths Racing BMW team RR. He finished both races in 15th. Alastair Seeley (GB / Royal Air Force Regular & Reserves) was 14th in race two, but retired in race one.
The race for the Superstock class (BSB STK) saw a brilliant 1-2-3-4-5 for the BMW S1000RR. Victory went to Taylor MacKenzie (GB / Buildbase BMW Motorrad), who was joined on the podium by the Tyco BMW pairing of Josh Elliott (GB) and Ian Hutchinson (GB). Hudson Kennaugh (ZA / Trikmoto Bahnstormer BMW) crossed the line in fourth, while Michael Rutter (GB / Bathams SMT) was fifth on his RR. Points were also collected by BMW riders Leon Jeacock (GB / GEO E Davies Racing) in 12th, Chrissy Rouse (GB / CECS Mission Racing) in 13th and Rob McNealy (GB / McNealy Brown Ltd) in 14th.
FIM Sidecar World Championship at Le Mans, France.
The FIM Sidecar World Championship (SWC) also met at Le Mans (FR) for its season opener. However, the first race of the year was held in tricky conditions due to heavy rain. It even had to be red-flagged and re-started when too much water on the track made it too risky to continue. The Finnish BMW duo of Pekka Päivärinta / Kirsi Kainulainen finished second on the podium. Mike Roscher / Anna Burkard (DE) decided to return to the pits prematurely due to the dangerous conditions.
Superbike Series Brasil at Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The Superbike Series Brasil (BRSBK) is a new addition to the 2016 BMW Motorrad Race Trophy. The season kicked off last weekend at Interlagos in Sao Paulo (BR) – with a win and a podium for the BMW S1000RR. In total, three BMW racers crossed the line within the top-four. Victory went to Danilo Lewis (BR) on the Tecfil Racing Team’s RR. As a new member of the BMW Motorrad Alex Barros Racing team, Sebastiano Zerbo (BR) raced to third on the podium. The top-four were completed by BMW rider Diego Petrel (BR).
Motoamerica FIM/AMA North American Road Racing Series at Austin, US.
Curtain raiser also for the 2016 Motoamerica FIM/AMA North American Road Racing Series (AMA): The first two races of the year were held during the MotoGP weekend at Austin, Texas (US). BMW Motorrad Motorsport was once more represented by Steve Rapp (US). He finished the races in 11th and 13th overall. With these results, he claimed seventh and eighth in the Superstock class (AMA STK).