It was an action packed weekend for the BMW Motorrad Motorsport teams with several race events. The Assen round (NED) of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) and the FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship (STK1000) saw strong outings from privateer S1000RR racers. The BMW riders in the British Superbike Championship (BSB) stepped onto the podium again at Oulton Park (GBR) and there have been wins and numerous podium finishes for the RR in the Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSC), the new Motorcycle Championship (MOTOCh) and the South African Motorcycle Road Racing Championship (RSA SBK).
MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship in Assen, the Netherlands.
The iconic TT Circuit in Assen (NED), known as the “Cathedral of Speed,” hosted the fourth round of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). Being the strongest rider in a purely privateer team, Jordi Torres (ESP / Althea BMW Racing Team) fought with the factory teams for the front positions. In Saturday’s race one, he set his sights on the top five, but had to retire on the penultimate lap due to a flat tire while in sixth. In Sunday’s second race, Torres crossed the line in seventh. His teammate Raffaele De Rosa (ITA), who competed in his first WorldSBK round of the season in Assen, was 13th and 17th respectively.
Jordi Torres: “On Saturday, we really had bad luck. We could have finished fifth or sixth if we hadn’t had the flat rear tire. It is always disappointing for the entire team when something like that happens. Sunday’s race was a lot better. We didn’t have the best grid position but we tried to give our best during the race. With the fuel tank getting emptier – and with less grip on the tires – we were able to go a good pace and I overtook a lot of riders.”
Raffaele De Rosa: “Considering that this was my first race in several months, I started with the intention of completing as many miles as possible, or rather crossing the finish line. I was pleased on Saturday because I was a little more constant than I was in the practices. On Sunday I was feeling quite good with my BMW S1000RR until about halfway through the race. Once the wind picked up, I had some difficulty managing the bike and I was just trying to get to the finish line.”
FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship in Assen, the Netherlands.
The Assen race of the FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship (STK1000) had to be red flagged on lap two after several riders were involved in a crash. After the re-start, nine laps were completed. A wildcard starter was the highest placed BMW S1000RR rider: local hero Danny De Boer (NED) who competes with team Van Zon-Remeha-BMW in the Superbike IDM (IDM) this season. After having shown strong performances in practice and qualifying, the Dutch racer finished the race – a home round for him and the team – in fourth position. Sébastian Suchet (SUI / Berclaz Racing Team) was eighth. His teammate, former GP racer Federico Sandi (ITA), was involved in the incident that resulted in the red flag, but fought his way through the re-started race to finish 11th.
Danny De Boer: “The BMW S1000RR was completely new for me, but my first impression is really positive! I am happy to start the new season with a result like this. This was a good warm-up for our IDM season. I want to say thank you to Van Zon-Remeha-BMW!”
Federico Sandi: “The race was really difficult. Marvin Fritz crashed at the end of the first lap and me and several others went down when trying to avoid him. I returned to the garage with some broken parts on the bike. The mechanics were able to repair it in time for the re-start. Physically, I did not feel very well as during the crash I had hit the asphalt with my head. My helmet was really damaged. In the early stages, I was running well in sixth position but then my head and stomach were seriously aching after the crash. I finished 11th. I am disappointed because if it had been a normal race, I could have fought for the win. The bike was really good.”
British Superbike Championship in Oulton Park, Great Britain.
For the third round of the 2017 British Superbike Championship (BSB), the teams and riders met at Oulton Park (GBR) last weekend, with the races being held on Monday, May 1st. In the first heat of the Superbike class (BSB SBK), Peter Hickman (GBR) was the highest placed BMW rider, crossing the line in fifth on his Smiths Racing RR. Christian Iddon (GBR / Tyco BMW) was eighth. In race two, Iddon came home in fourth place, missing the podium by only two tenths of a second. Hickman was seventh.
Jakub Smrz (CZE / Lloyd & Jones PR Racing) and Lee Jackson (GBR / Smiths Racing) also finished both races in the points: Smrz was 13th and 12th, Jackson 15th and 13th.
Christian Iddon: “It was a tough weekend for a number of reasons but we can take away a lot of positives. Race one was disappointing but in the second race we were there battling for second place, so to then lose out on a podium was frustrating – but at least we are continually in the mix. Thanks to the team for their continued big effort. We are sitting in a strong championship position, in third; we just need to keep pushing hard for consistent podiums and try to grab that elusive win.”
Peter Hickman: “Fifth was a good result in the first race but I was a bit disappointed to have left the door open on the last corner. Normally you can hear the bikes behind you but this time I couldn’t so I thought I had a safe fourth! I was a bit annoyed but top five was still a good outcome and we made further improvements to the bike for race two, although again I made an average start. I had the pace to finish on the podium but it was difficult to pass and then hold onto the position if you had made a pass. I got bullied a bit and made a couple of mistakes so rolled off a bit to bring the bike home.”
The Superstock class (BSB STK) race was held in wet and tricky conditions – and ended with two podium finishes for the BMW S1000RR. Chrissy Rouse (GBR / Mission Racing) was second, closely followed by Michael Rutter (GBR / Bathams SMT) in third. In addition, four more BMW racers came home with the top 10: Tom Tunstall (GBR / Integro) was sixth, Dean Hipwell (GBR / CDH Racing) seventh, Barry Teasdale (GBR / Bob Henderson Racing) eighth and Matej Smrz (CZE / Lloyd & Jones PR Racing) ninth. Tyco BMW rider Ian Hutchinson (GBR) struggled with wrong tire choice and had to settle with 14th.
Ian Hutchinson : “It was worth the gamble, but didn’t pay off, but in hindsight, none of the leading championship contenders scored significant points either, so it hasn’t really affected the championship table. It’s now road racing time with the NW200 and TT on the horizon, but we remain in good shape in the Superstock 1000 class in British championship and will look to return with a strong podium finish at Knockhill in June.”
Motorcycle Championship at Slovakia Ring, Slovakia.
The debut round of the newly founded Motorcycle Championship (MOTOCh) saw several podium finishes for the BMW Motorrad Motorsport riders. The opening races were held at Slovakia Ring near Bratislava (SVK) last weekend. In the first heat, Miloš Cihak (CZE / BMW Motorrad CSEU) took third on the podium of the Superbike class (MOTOCh SBK), while his teammate Richard Balcar (CZE) secured another third position in the second race. In the Superstock class (MOTOCh STK), Ladislav Chmelik (CZE / Exteria Racing) finished race one second on the podium. In race two, Michal Prášek (CZE / Rohac and Feijta motoracing Team) was second of the STK class, followed by Chmelik in third.
Malaysia Superbike Championship in Sepang, Malaysia.
The second round of the 2017 Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSC) at Sepang International Circuit (MAS) saw two more wins for the BMW Motorrad Motorsport family. Muhammad Farid Badrul Hisam (MAS / HKM Times Bike Racing Team) was victorious in both races of the Superbike class (MSC SBK), also setting the fastest race lap on both occasions with his RR. With these results, he extended his championship lead. Linggam Rammoo (MAS / Sports Rider Racing Team) also finished both races in the top 10: he was eighth and tenth respectively.
In the Superstock class (MSC STK), Nasarudin Mat Yusop (MAS / BMW Motorrad Malaysia Team) also enjoyed podium honors, setting the fastest lap and finishing second in race one. Sharulnizam Ramli (MAS / Kakikloudkartel Racing Team) was fifth, Dominic Chang (SIN / Sports Rider Racing Team) crossed the line in eighth. In race two, Mat Yusop was again fastest man on the track and on course for a podium finish but retired halfway through the race. Ramli was fourth, followed by Chang in fifth. Abdul Aziz Al Ikram (MAS) completed the top 10 in tenth place.
South African Motorcycle Road Racing Championship in East London, South Africa.
For the second round of the 2017 South African Motorcycle Road Racing Championship (RSA SBK), the BMW teams traveled to East London (RSA). BMW S1000RR rider Lance Isaacs (RSA / Supabets/Sandton BMW Motorrad) once more stepped onto the podium, finishing the first of the two races in third. David McFadden (RSA / RPM Center Sandton Auto BMW) in sixth and Heinrich Rheeder (RSA / Rheeder Racing) in tenth also claimed top-10 positions. In race two, Isaacs was again the highest placed BMW racer. After being involved in a thrilling battle for the podium positions, he crossed the line in fourth. McFadden was eighth.
Lance Isaacs: “It was an awesome race weekend and we made a massive leap forward. This gives us a lot of confidence as all the work the entire team had put in since the season opener has definitely paid off. I want to carry this momentum to the next rounds that will be held on circuits I really like and I am confident that our BMW S1000RR has the potential to reach the top step of the podium.”
Australian Superbike Championship at Winton Motor Raceway, Australia.
The Winton Motor Raceway (AUS) hosted the third round of the 2017 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK). Troy Guenther (AUS) of the NextGen Motorsports team equalled his best result of the season. He finished the first of the two races in 11th on his BMW S1000RR. In the second heat, Guenther crossed the line in 13th.
Troy Guenther: “It was another great weekend with a load more experience on the BMW S1000RR in my rookie Superbike season. I am really happy with the way I rode over the whole weekend. My race pace improved with every outing. Of course, we would have liked to finish the races higher up in the field, but all in all it was a great weekend.”