The European Superstock 1000 Championship title hunt will go down to the wire at the final round in Magny-Cours (France). In the penultimate round of the season, championship leader Markus Reiterberger of team alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW, set out on the most challenging track on the WorldSBK calendar in Portimão (Portugal). With a third place finish in a thrilling Superstock race, he secured a comfortable starting position for the final race of the season, with only three title candidates remaining.
Free Practice 1+2
Although Markus Reiterberger was able to finish the first free practice session with a lap time of 1’45.298 minutes in first place overall, the Bavarian was not yet satisfied with the basic set-up of his S 1000 RR. The 24-year-old still saw potential in his feeling for the front wheel as well as in the setting of the overall geometry. Especially the increased asphalt temperatures in the second free practice session, worsened the grip ratio and made it much more difficult to improve the lap time.
FP1+2 Combined Results
P1 Markus Reiterberger 1´45.298 min (-0.244)
Free Practice 3
The last practice before the qualifying session was a tough one for the alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW rider. Reiterberger improved his lap time to 1’44.736 and was at the end of the session just 0.114 seconds behind the fastest of the classification in third place.
With a technical adjustment, Reiterberger managed to establish himself right at the head of the field in the beginning of the qualifying session. Although his best time was undercut by Federico Sandi on Ducati, nevertheless Reiti confirmed his second starting position for the race with 1’44.0 min lap time. Also ahead of his title rivals Roberto Tamburini and Maximilian Scheib.
P2 Markus Reiterberger 1´44.017 min (+0.116)
For the alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW rider, the race started on Sunday noon and was scheduled for 14 laps. Reiterberger, who started from second position, took the leading role before the first corner. But he did not manage to get away from his pursuers. Federico Sandi stayed close behind him, could attack from the slipstream and took the lead. Reiterberger then found himself in second place under pressure from BMW rider Roberto Tamburini. The Italian managed to pass Reiterberger in the third round. Even at this early stage of the race Reiterberger could not keep his desired racing line and lost valuable time on his competitors, especially in the corner exit phase. Yamaha factory rider Florian Marino also closed the gap to Reiterberger and passed the 24-year-old Bavarian. At high risk, the championship leader fought back and successfully attacked Marino from the slipstream two laps before the end of the race. Reiti defended this counterattack to the finish line and took third place at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. He achieved important points in the battle for the championship.
The title in the Superstock 1000 European Championship will be decided in just under two weeks in Magny-Cours between alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW rider Markus Reiterberger (140 points), BMW brand colleague Roberto Tamburini (122 points) and Maximilian Scheib (121 points) on Aprilia. It promises to be an exciting race weekend, where mistakes are not allowed for neither of the three riders.
Final Round STK 1000 European Championship
France | Magny Cours | 28.-30. September 2018
„That was not a walk in the park. Portimão is a special track where we had to keep the others at a distance. In the free practice sessions I did not had a good feeling for the bike, which improved on Saturday in qualifying. As we have seen, we could not bring the speed over the race distance. That’s why I had to make a smart race. Especially from the middle of the race, I only saved my position. With a lot of risk, I rode up to third place and at the end we collected valuable points for the championship. It was a difficult race weekend, but we still have a good starting position for the season finale in Magny-Cours.”
Werner Daemen | Team Manager:
„Portimão is a challenging track where we had to compromise with our setup. We were not able to fight for the victory, but we are satisfied with third place for Markus. We are now fully focused on the last race in Magny-Cours and are doing our best to win the title.“