Without a break, the alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW Team around Markus Reiterberger travelled from the successful season start in Aragón to the Cathedral of Speed – the legendary TT Circuit in Assen (Netherlands). Another fantastic race weekend for the rookie team in the Superstock 1000 European Championship.
Day 1 – Free Practice
The first free practice started promising for the squad around team principal Werner Daemen. At the first stint, Reiterberger set a lap time of 1: 37.837, at which the pursuers had to grind their teeth. Shortly before the end of the 30-minute session Reiterberger then again undercut his best mark two more times – with 1: 37.326 min he finally marked his fastest lap.
With the used tires from the first session, Reiterberger got into his second free practice session. However, an improvement in the lap time was not expected due to the significantly higher track temperature. Reiterberger led the timesheet consistently and set his best time finally in the last lap – 1:37.502 minutes with heavily used tires.
As in the first practice, Reiterberger dominated the events and set the best time in all track sectors.
Combined Result Free Practice: P1 Markus Reiterberger | best lap 1:37.326 min
Day 2 – Qualifying
The FP3 was also completely dominated by – again -Markus Reiterberger. He improved his personal best three times to finally 1: 36.431 minutes with a lead of 1.682 seconds over second-placed Roberto Tamburini (ITA / BMW).
Reiterberger already broke Florian Marino’s qualifying lap record of 1: 36,775 in the third free practice session and also in the qualifying the 24-year-old Bavarian shocked the competition. Already in the first timed lap he put a 1:36.572 min on the result lists – position one of course. However, Reiti was not entirely satisfied with his lap time, as he was hindered by a mistake in the pit exit in the early stages of qualifying by competitors. With a new pair of tires, he improved his lap time again at the end of the session to 1:36.456 min. Pole position!
Day 3 – Race
Though Reiterberger had to deal with a tire issue during his warmup session, everything seemed to be in perfect order for the race. The expected rain shower fortunately was delayed and the 14-lap STK1000 race took place at Assen in untypically summery conditions.
Reiterberger turned into the first corner with a nearly perfect start as leader and set a new lap record already in his second race lap with 1:36.594 min – almost a second faster than the best race lap of Rinaldi from the previous year! He extended his lead over Tamburini (ITA / BMW) and Sandi (ITA / Ducati) to more than five seconds and managed the gap up to the finish line.
With the second victory of this season, Markus Reiterberger leads the championship with now 50 points. Team mate Jan Bühn collects his first European Championship points and is ranked P13 in the overall standings (6 points). With the result from Assen, the alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW Team is ranked first place in the team classification.
P1 Markus Reiterberger | new lap record 1:36.594 min (-5.525)
„The weekend was perfect. We had a good pace from the beginning. In the third free practice we have already beat the lap record from 2017. We definitely did not expect that. Although we were already really fast, my team was able to go one better. Everyone of my crew did a flawless job during the weekend. However, I did a small mistake with my tactics during the qualifying, because at first I stalled the engine in a rush. Some competitors passed me, I got stuck in traffic and was unable to make the most out of the new set of tires. But in the end – Pole Position is Pole Position. During the race I was able to fullfill our tactics and put a gap between Tamburini already in the first lap. I managed to extend the gap even up to five seconds until the end.
25 championship points, the lead in the overall standings, pole position, lap record – what more could you wish for.“
Werner Daemen (team principal alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW)
„After such a race weekend you can only be happy. We were able to confirm our performance from Aragón also here in Assen. The whole team did a great job. Markus has done his job perfectly and also Jan has presented himself strongly over the weekend. Such results are not self-evident with such strong competition, so we need to keep working hard.“