The BMW Motorrad racers are off to a great start to the international road racing season, with three wins and nine podium finishes at the North West 200. The BMW S1000RR was also the bike to beat at the season opener of the International German Championship (IDM) at the Nürburgring (GER), where the BMW riders secured both wins and five of six possible podium places. There were strong showings by BMW racers in the MOTUL FIM Superbike Championship (WorldSBK) and the FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship (STK1000). Both series raced in Imola (ITA). In addition, BMW racers have been in action in Japan and in the US last weekend. They were also supposed to take to the track in South Africa, but the South African Motorcycle Road Racing Championship (RSA SBK) races in Zwartkops (RSA) had to be canceled due to bad weather.
North West 200 in Coleraine, Northern Ireland.
The North West 200 on the Triangle course between Portstewart, Portrush and Coleraine in Northern Ireland marked the first major international road race event of the year. The season kicked off for the BMW riders and BMW Motorrad Motorsport experts with fantastic results in the 1000cc categories races. Alastair Seeley (GBR) extended his NW200 wins record to 21. Seeley won three of the four 1000cc races on his Tyco BMW S1000RR.
Race action at the NW200 began on Thursday evening with the first Superstock race. With an impressive performance and a new lap record, Seeley secured his first win of the meeting. Lee Johnston (GBR / East Coast Construction) joined him on the podium in second, while Ian Hutchinson (GBR / Tyco BMW) and Martin Jessopp (GBR / Riders Motorcycles) crossed the line in fourth and fifth.
Saturday was the main race day at the NW200 and it brought rain and difficult conditions but also more success for the BMW racers. The first Superbike race saw another 1-2 result for the RR: Seeley took the win, followed by Michael Rutter (GBR / Bathams SMT Racing) in second. Peter Hickman (GBR / Smiths Racing) was fifth. The second Superstock race turned out to be a real thriller, with five BMW racers fighting closely at the front and securing a top-five lock-out for the RR. Seeley won again, while Hutchinson and Rutter were second and third. Johnston and Hickman followed in fourth and fifth. The final race, the second Superbike heat, was another exciting affair. This time, Seeley and Hutchinson were second and third on the podium. Rutter completed the top 5.
Alastair Seeley: “I can’t be disappointed with that can I? To come to the North West 200 and take one win is a big achievement, but to come away with four – three on Tyco BMW machinery – is something you can only dream of. The conditions were far from perfect today, but credit to the boys in the team, they gave me bikes that worked for all conditions; I can’t thank them enough. It’s been another memorable day and I feel proud to have given Tyco, BMW and all the other team sponsors three wins and a few other podiums to celebrate alongside Hutchy.”
Ian Hutchinson: “It was a tough day with difficult conditions and although I didn’t manage to grab a win, it has been a great day for the team. We spent a lot of time this week working on set-up, having changed tire manufacturer for the roads, but from the opening practice session to the final race, we have made giant strides – which leaves us in good shape now heading to the Isle of Man TT on my Tyco BMWs.”
As the North West 200 is part of the BMW Combined Road Race Challenge (BMW RRC), the results are counted towards the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy.
MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship in Imola, Italy.
Round five of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) was held at the iconic “Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari” in Imola (ITA) last weekend. It was the home round for the Althea BMW Racing Team, but the squad had to cope with a setback on Saturday. Due to gastroenteritis, Jordi Torres (ESP) was physically so weak that he could not compete in the Superpole and the first race. On Sunday, the Spaniard was back in business with a fantastic catch up on his BMW S1000RR. Starting from the back of the grid, Torres worked his way forward through the field and crossed the line in eighth. His teammate Raffaele De Rosa (ITA) finished the races in 14th and 16th respectively.
Jordi Torres: “We had a good race on Sunday. Fortunately I’ve recovered after Saturday’s illness and that didn’t affect me at all during the race. Starting last on the grid wasn’t easy of course, but I was able to quickly get into a good rhythm. I hoped to be able to do a little more actually but in these conditions with the tire that we use it was the best I could manage. I thank the team — the result is good considering we lost the whole day Saturday and then I want to thank the Clinica Mobile, because without their help I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did.”
FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship in Imola, Italy.
As a part of the WorldSBK round, the FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship (STK1000) held its third race of the season in Imola (ITA). After an eventful race that had to be red flagged twice, five BMW S1000RR riders crossed the line in the top 10. Former GP racer Federico Sandi (ITA / Berclaz Racing Team) only narrowly missed out on the podium in fourth. Directly behind him, Marco Faccani (ITA / Althea BMW Racing Team), Matteo Ferrari (ITA / DMR Racing Team) and Sébastien Suchet (SUI / Berclaz Racing Team) followed in fifth to seventh places. Federico Sanchioni (ITA / Clasitaly) completed the top 10.
Federico Sandi: “I am happy because we had a good weekend. On the other hand, I am also a little bit disappointed as the podium would have easily been within reach. I was very fast, but with two laps to go, I made a little mistake when we were fighting for positions. Anyway – in general, I can be satisfied. We are the highest placed BMW and the team did a great job. I had a good rhythm over the entire weekend. We can build on this; the podium was possible and I know the bike and the team better. Now I am looking forward to Donington, a track I like, and of course to Misano, one of my favorite circuits in the world.”
International German Championship at the Nürburgring, Germany.
Both wins and five of six possible podium positions: the BMW S1000RR riders had a fantastic 2017 season opener in the International German Championship (IDM). The first two races of the year were held at the Nürburgring (GER) last weekend.
The first race on Sunday morning was affected by rain and the fans witnessed an exciting battle between Van Zon-Remeha-BMW teammates Danny De Boer (NED) and Markus Reiterberger (GER) for the win in the final stages. It was De Boer to cross the line in first place, 0.4 seconds in front of Reiterberger. Dominik Vincon (GER / BMW Stilgenbauer) and Jan Bühn (GER / Van Zon-Remeha-BMW) were fourth and fifth. In the dry second race, all podium places went to BMW riders. Two-times IDM champion Reiterberger was unbeatable and took the win with an impressive advantage of 25 seconds. His teammate Bühn was second, Vincon secured third on the rostrum.
Markus Reiterberger: “I was on my 2017 IDM race bike for the first time ever on Friday but I improved from session to session and it did not take long to get back my feeling for the bike – and for the team which is exactly the same as in 2015. I had a great start in race one and managed to pull away right from the start. But then the rain set in, the race was red-flagged and re-started in the wet. I tried to keep focused and to make the best of the situation despite the fact that I am not really a ‘rain artist.’ And I was able to fight for the win even in those conditions. I was leading on the final lap but then in the final chicane, I braked a bit too optimistically and Danny took the opportunity to pass. For the second race, we had dry conditions and I knew that this could be my race. I tried to quickly pull away from the rest and managed to do so. It was fantastic team-work and I want to thank everyone again who made it possible for me to have a great bike and a great team.”
Danny De Boer: “It was great to win race one. It was a really nice fight between me, Reiti and Florian Alt and it is always fantastic to start the season with a win. The second race was harder. My start was not so good. I tried to push and follow Reiti but the tire was not warm enough and I went a bit too fast into a corner and crashed on the opening lap so no points in the second race, but I am really happy with race one. Our performance was really good so big thanks to the team.”
MFJ Superbike All Japan Road Race Championship in Sugo, Japan.
The BMW S1000RR racers in the MFJ Superbike All Japan Road Race Championship (MFJ) were in action in Sugo (JPN) last weekend for the second round of the 2017 season. Daisaku Sakai (JPN) crossed the line in 11th on his Team BMW Motorrad 39 RR. Yuta Kodama (JPN) followed immediately behind in 12th on the RR of team Tone RT Syncedge 4113.
MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship at the Virginia International Raceway, USA.
The MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship (AMA) held its third round of the 2017 season at the Virginia International Raceway (USA). Jason DiSalvo (USA) was on duty on the BMW S1000RR of team Scheibe Racing/Hayes Brake. He finished the two races in 12th and 13th position.