The WorldSBK is the declared goal of Markus Reiterberger. Having put some highlights in the WorldSBK season 2016, he had also setbacks by a serious injury. After three WorldSBK races for Althea BMW Racing in the WorldSBK season 2017, the 23-year-old switched back to the IDM team of Werner Daemen. The recent successes in the IDM speak for itself – Reiterberger achieved another double victory in the IDM champion at Lausitzring and was crowned early IDM Superbike Champion. Now Reiti wanted to show what is possible with a self-developed World Championship motorcycle. Under the motto „Teamwork makes the dreamwork“.
WorldSBK Free Practice 1
Before the first riding day, it had rained at night, but the first free practice started at 25 ° C and a dry track. Markus delivered a 1’37.962 min laptime in 19 laps and took sixth place. As the best BMW motorcycle pilot, he had only a gap of 0.625 seconds to the leaders of the session – former world champion Tom Sykes on his factory Kawasaki.
FP1 | P6 | 1:37.962 min (+0,625)
WorldSBK Free Practice 2
Markus started in dry conditions into the second session of the free practice. After the first laps, adjustments were made to the chassis of his S 1000 RR, which should reduce the sudden chattering at the curve entrance. According to the weather forecast, Markus had about five laps after leaving the pit, until an announced rain showers would end the session. In minute 25, Yamaha pilot Alex Lowes caused an oil spurt on the track due to engine break and the red flag interrupted the free practice. During the interruption, the rain started, and a cloudburst from the expected showers was supposed to interrupt the session by almost an hour. Markus could not subduct his personal best time from the first practice after the restart in these conditions, qualifying with a lap time of 1: 37.962 min to the 7th place for Superpole 2. A start position for race 1 under the first 12 was thus secured , A good result for IDM team Van Zon-Remeha-BMW.
FP2 | P6 | 1’38.256 min (+1.084)
Combined result FP1 and FP2 1:37.962 (+0.790)
WorldSBK Free Practice 3
Markus finished the third free practice, which is not relevant for the qualification, in 10th position. In order to eliminate the chattering in the FP2, his crew quickly set up the front wheel fork of his IDM motorcycle – including stock brake calipers. With this change he was in the meantime even on P2, but his time could not improve further. P10 is a good performance for Team Manager Werner Daemen. In principle, it is to be expected that, above all, the factory teams will make a big step on the second day of training by making adjustments to electronics.
FP3 | P10 | 1’38.775 min (+1.277)
WorldSBK Superpole 2
The Superpole session started for Markus with racing tires on P8, until all teams changed for special Qualifyer tires. With a 1: 37.243 he qualified in 10th position for the starting grid. A not quite satisfied Markus Reiterberger would have liked a better result in the 15 minute session, nevertheless a more than respectable performance by the whole team and Markus in particular.
SP2 | P10 | 1’37.243 min (+1.122)
WorldSBK Race 1
The first highlight of the weekend, which Markus had prepared very intensively, stood up. 21 laps on the 4.265 km long WorldSBK course of the Lausitzring. He got a good start from P10 and came on rank nine from the first round, even improved to eighth place on lap three. With a slight distance to Leon Camier to the front and Xavi Fores to the rear, Reiti pulled constant lap times and slipped piece by piece on his front rider. In lap 13, in the very ground-shattered braking zone to curve 10 in which he had to gear down four times, Markus caught unintentionally the neutral gear of his BMW and had to ride thereby a wide line. With a short detour to the gravel bed he was able to continue on position twelve.
With anger and 1: 38er lap times he closed again on frontman Michael van der Mark and could pass him in lap 16. Reiterberger on P11 and still 5 laps to go. In lap 19, the Lausitzring specialist then missed his gear again, also in turn ten, and he was passed on P13. In the end, it was the 13th place – not the hoped-for result that the 23-year-old had imagined. But the lap times proved the good performance and the team voted positively for the second race of the WorldSBK on Sunday.
Race 1 | P13 | Best lap 1:38.184 min | Top Speed 282 km/h
WorldSBK Race 2
The morning warm up brought a smile back in Reitis face. With P7 and a lap time of 1: 37.351 min (+0.783) he was almost one second quicker with racing tires than in his best lap of the first race. The adjustments to the geometry of his S 1000 RR had shown an effect.
For the second race Markus wanted to proof a lot. A technical change should prevent the interconnection of gears to neutral, as in the first race. Markus got well off starting position 11, but lost a position in the first corner. He couldn´t pass Aprilia’s Leandro Mercado and lost the connection to the group in front of him. In the second lap, he managed to overtake Mercado and get closer to his former team-mate Jordi Torres. Without direct wind shadows it was hard to open up on Torres, but the seven riders ahead of him were always involved in position battles, which slowed the whole group slightly. Aprilia factory rider Eugene Laverty crashed and Markus inherited the tenth position before he could pass Xavi Fores in round ten. Reiti also joined the Jordi Torres‘ rear wheel from this point until he made a small mistake in the 15th round and had to take a long line in the corner. Markus was not able to catch up on the distance of just one second and crossed the finish line after 21 laps. An outstanding performance by Markus Reiterberger and his Van Zon-Remeha-BMW team, which is even clearer in the analysis. The group around Sykes, Lowes, Camier, Savadori and Torres rode a faultless race. Markus rode constantly fast lap times, which were on the level of Kawasaki factory driver Tom Sykes. A small mistake with leaving the ideal line made the difference.
A more than successful appearance in the WorldSBK for the 23-year-old BMW Motorrad pilot.
Race 2 | P9 | Best lap 1:37.640 min | Top speed 279,1 km/h | Leader gap 20.355
„I’m just happy after the second race. With my first race, I was dissatisfied with my two mistakes when switching. The braking zone is brutally wavy and you have to go down four gears. I’ve gotten into neutral – two times. Really annoying, P8 might have been in it. With the change for the second race, luckily that no longer happened. Nine place is great, but even more makes me proud that I had the pace for the top 5. But to keep up with it, everything has to fit at the weekend. That starts at the starting position – we would have done better with a bit more luck. Considering that we have built the bike very quickly and could only test very little, we can all be proud of the result. We have used a lot of IDM know-how and from Saturday I even had the IDM fork with stock break calipers. The bike was just great!“
With the wild card, Reiterberger and his team collected ten championship points from two Superbike races. A successful visit to the WorldSBK at the Lausitzring for Team Van Zon-Remeha-BMW.