The FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) 2017/18 season has started cheerfully for BMW teams: at the Bol d’Or at Le Castellet (FRA), Wepol BMW Motorrad by Penz13.com raced to second place and a total of three BMW S1000RRs finished the endurance classic in the top five. In the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WSBK), Jordi Torres (ESP) of the Althea BMW Racing Team claimed a sixth and a fifth place in the Portimão races (POR). The British Superbike Championship (BSB) was in action at Oulton Park (GBR) last weekend, with two podium finishes for the BMW riders in the Superstock class. At Sepang International Circuit (MAS), Muhammad Farid Badrul Hisam (MAS) extended his overall lead in the Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSC).
FIM Endurance World Championship at Le Castellet, France.
The 81st edition of the legendary Bol d’Or at Le Castellet in Southern France marked the 2017/18 season curtain raiser in the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC). Five private BMW teams, supported on site by BMW Motorrad Motorsport, were in the strong field of nearly 60 teams. Three of them finished the 24-hour endurance classic in the top five, securing a fantastic result for the BMW racing family.
The BMW array was led by team Wepol BMW Motorrad by Penz13.com that had returned to the EWC for a one-off appearance – and celebrated second place on the podium. Team Principal Rico Penzkofer (GER) formed his squad for the Bol d’Or on very short notice, with Markus Reiterberger (GER), Alessandro Polita (ITA) and Danny Webb (GBR) sharing duties on the #13 BMW S1000RR. Starting from 11th on the grid, the team worked its way towards the front over the 24 hours. After 21 hours, they had reached the podium positions, running in third, and then in the 23rd hour, they further improved to second place. Reiterberger held the position until he crossed the line on the RR.
Team Völpker NRT48 Schubert Motors by ERC also gave an impressive performance. The young team, with riders Stefan Kerschbaumer (AUT), Jan Bühn (GER) and Lucy Glöckner (GER), debuted in the EWC Superbike class and fought for the podium to the checkered flag. Glöckner gave her all to secure third place for the #48 RR. After an exciting finish, the team was fourth, missing the podium only by 0.9 seconds. The top five were completed by another BMW, the #21 RR of IVRacing BMW CSEU, ridden by Karel Hanika (CZE), Fabrizio Lai (ITA) and Julian Mayer (AUT). The other two BMW teams retired during the race: Tecmas Team BMW and LRP Poland.
Markus Reiterberger: “I’m really happy. Second place at the Bol d’Or is a result none of us had expected. We hoped for it and we knew we could get it if everything worked well. In the beginning, we had a problem with the starter relay and dropped several positions but we fought back and in particular both my teammates from road racing did a brilliant job. It all worked really well and our consistency was the key to success in this race. It was superb team work and a really great weekend.”
Alex Polita: “I’m really happy, because the Bol d’Or was my first endurance race and the first on a race track in a long time. We had a problem in the night practice and it was difficult to ride in the dark, but in the race we could push with our team mates. To finish on the podium here makes me really happy.”
Danny Webb: “It is an amazing feeling, to stand up there and see all the people and get to spray champagne; it’s an incredible feeling. I haven’t had this for a while and to do it at World Championship level is just incredible. We were an outstanding team, Alex, Reiti and the whole team. I want to say thank you for the opportunity.”
Rico Penzkofer: “I’m more than pleased with this result. This time lady luck was on our side and others had the bad luck, but in a few weeks’ time it’s not important — you just look at the results. I’m happy we could show what we are capable of. We know that Markus is always fast, but what Danny and Alex showed was amazing. They didn’t know the track and both rode in the dark for the first time. It makes me really happy that they were able to set such fast times.”
MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at Portimão, Portugal.
The tenth round of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WSBK) was held at Portimão in the south of Portugal. On the challenging track, Jordi Torres (ESP) of the Althea BMW Racing Team secured two strong results. He finished Saturday’s race in sixth and was fifth on Sunday. His teammate Raffaele De Rosa (ITA) ended the first race in 11th but failed to finish race two.
FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship at Portimão, Portugal.
Portimão (POR) also hosted the seventh race of the 2017 FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship (STK1000). Sébastien Suchet (SUI) of the Berclaz Racing Team was the highest placed BMW rider, crossing the line in seventh. His teammate Federico Sandi (ITA) was again fighting for the podium but had to retire due to a technical issue.
Federico Sandi: “Of course I am not happy because, like in the previous races, I had the podium in reach, but that is racing. I am a little bit disappointed but our performance makes me positive for the coming rounds in France and Spain.”
British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park, Great Britain.
With the tenth round of the 2017 British Superbike Championship (BSB) at Oulton Park (GBR) the “Showdown” for the title began. One of the six riders fighting for the championship crown is BMW racer Peter Hickman (GBR / Smiths Racing BMW). He was unlucky in race one that was held in mixed conditions. Hickman was third after the opening lap but then dropped some places. When the race was red-flagged after 15 laps, he had to settle for eighth. In race two, Hickman crossed the line in fourth place. In the overall standings, he is currently fifth, 41 points behind leader Leon Haslam (GBR, Kawasaki). Christian Iddon (GBR / Tyco BMW) also secured a top-ten finish in the tricky conditions with ninth in race two.
In the Superstock class (BSB STK), two races were held at Oulton Park and on both occasions, a BMW rider stepped onto the podium. In the first race, Chrissy Rouse (GBR / Mission Racing) finished third. He was followed by three more BMW racers in the top-six: Michael Rutter (GBR / Bathams SMT Racing) was fourth, Adam Jenkinson (GBR / Northern Escalator Installations) fifth and Josh Elliott (GBR / Tyco BMW) sixth. In race two, it was Elliott’s turn to ride onto the podium in third. Jenkinson was seventh and Rutter eighth that time.
Malaysia Superbike Championship in Sepang, Malaysia.
The 2017 Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSC) resumed last weekend with the fourth and penultimate round at Sepang International Circuit (MAS). In the Superbike class (MSC SBK), Muhammad Farid Badrul Hisam (MAS / HKM Times Bike Racing Team) made a huge step towards winning the title. He was second in race one and added another victory to his tally in the second race. With those results, the BMW rider extended his overall lead and has the best title chance when the final round is held in November.
There was also a podium finish for a BMW rider in the Superstock class (MSC STK). Shahrulnizam Ramli (MAS / Kakikloudkartel Racing Team) was third in race two. In the first race he had finished tenth. Nasarudin Mat Yusop (MAS / BMW Motorrad Malaysia Team) crossed the line in fifth both times.
MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship at the Barber Motorsports Park, USA.
The 2017 season of the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship (AMA) drew to a close with the final round held at Barber Motorsport Park (USA). Jason Di Salvo (USA / Scheibe Racing / Hayes Brakes) ended the season with two strong results, claiming eighth place in first race and fifth in race two. Martin Biernacki (USA / MB Motorsports Racing) crossed the line in 12th and 11th positions.