Back in IDM with a clear set goal – prove by performance for higher tasks. Markus Reiterberger seemed visibly resolved when he moved around the IDM paddock at the Nürburgring in his Van Zon-Remeha-BMW team wear. Together with Teammanager Werner Daemen and Team Van Zon-Remeha-BMW, the restart begins on a well known stage – the International German Motorcycle Championship (IDM). Everything to zero is the motto. No special treatment for the WorldSBK returner, despite high expectations. Performance counts! And Reiti is well aware of this.
The first free practice session on the IDM opener at the Nürburgring also marked the first seat test on the IDM S 1000 RR machine with the number 21. The injuries after his accident in Misano 2016 have healed, but the affected musculature and the tissues still cause pain.
In the three free practice sessions, Markus took the time to familiarize himself with the IDM Superbike 2017. The new technical regulations for the IDM Superbike 1000 class leave less room for the driver and team compared to the 2015 rules. Above all, the electronic possibilities were restricted and the motor power was approximated to that of the commercial serial motorcycle.
With a lap time of 1’26.462 min Markus reached the best time of the day before his team colleague Danny de Boer. He managed to improve from session to session and quickly gain confidence in the BMW S 1000 RR again. The familiarization of the Reiterberg crew with mechanic Wolfgang Kampe, father Thomas Reiterberger, data engineer Dirk Linnebacher, as well as chassis technician Matthias Greiff and tire specialist Peter Beicht had already succeeded on the first day of the new IDM season.
The good team performance was also demonstrated on Saturday. Markus dominated both qualifying sessions and with a best time of 1’24.734 he was almost as fast as with his 2015 IDM Superbike motorcycle. From the point of view of the Van Zon-Remeha-BMW team a really successful day as well. Behind Markus Reiterberger on the pole position, his team colleagues Danny de Boer followed on 2nd place and Jan Bühn on the third starting place. The only 17-year-old junior rider, Arnaud Friedrich, surprised with 12th place in qualifying.
Markus had a very good start in the first race in dry conditions and was able to make a remarkable advance of 1.5 seconds already in the first lap. But the black clouds above the Eifel had not come to the fun and a strong rainstorm forced the responsibles to a show the red flag in the third lap. Reiterberger, according to his own statement not known as a rain specialist, could be behind his team colleague Danny de Boer and in front of the two Yamaha drivers Florian Alt and Bastien Mackels after the restart on rain tires. In the 12th round, Florian Alt was able to pass Reiti and pushed the Bavarian to third place. On the start and finish straight at the beginning of the last lap, Markus then managed to pass both Alt and De Boer and saved the chances of winning the race. In the chicane in the last quarter of the track, Markus was a bit too careful on the brake on a very dry track with worn rain tires and his team colleague Danny De Boer took the chance to pass him. Markus was thus placed in second place behind his Dutch team-mate in difficult conditions with just a 0.4 second gap..
Typical for the Nürburgring and the Eifel region – there was no trace of the rainstorm and the IDM Superbike 1000 field started on the dry track in the second race of the weekend. Reiterberger had no doubts and sat down from the start with a little more than a second per lap. Like a clockwork, he delivered 1’25 and 1’26 lap times and won the race with 25,257 seconds ahead of his direct pursuer and team colleague Jan Bühn. The first victory in the new IDM season for Markus Reiterberger.
Quote Markus Reiterberger:
I am very satisfied with the first IDM event. We have proved that I can be fast and feel good on the BMW again. I have to thank everyone who has made it possible for me to step into „my“ Team Van Zon-Remeha-BMW. We still have a long way to go, but with this kick-off I am very pleased. In the first race, I have unfortunately opened the door for Danny de Boer by a too secure braking maneuver, but am also very satisfied with the second place in these conditions. We had a good pace and I had a good feeling for the bike – even in the wet. This gives self-confidence. In the dry conditions before the second race I knew: this can be my race. I was able to settle quickly and kept my pace. Having a 25 second gap to win is great. The race weekend was balm for my soul. A thousand thanks to my team for their weekend performance and, of course, to all those who have stood behind me in the last few months!“
After the first IDM race weekend, Markus Reiterberger takes the 1st position in the overall ranking with 45 championship points. The next IDM race takes place from the 7th – 9th July in Zolder (BEL) – the home race of team Van Zon-Remeha-BMW.
Markus Reiterberger is already shortening the break with an appearance in the Endurance World Championship (EWC) for Polish team LRP Racing Team Poland. Together with teammate Danny de Boer and Lukas Trautmann, he takes part in the 8h race in Motorsport Arena Oschersleben (GER).
Please find all images from the IDM season opener at Nürburgring in the Media section.