24h of Bol d’Or: Markus Reiterberger and BMW on the podium
A thrilling FIM Endurance World Championship 2023 season finale at Le Castellet saw Markus Reiterberger and the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team claim another podium finish and secure third place in the world championship standings. At the Bol d’Or, Reiti and his teammates Ilya Mikhalchik and Jérémy Guarnoni crossed the line in third place after 709 race laps. The trio reached the rostrum with the #37 BMW M 1000 RR in all three 24-hour races this season. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team finished third in the world championship standings, just one point away from second place. The new world champions from the YART Yamaha Official EWC Team were only 21 points ahead.
The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team secured pole position with a new lap record and the three BMW Motorrad factory riders and the team proceeded to do an outstanding job throughout the 24 hours of racing. Some problems with the electronics did knock the team back during the night. However, Reiterberger, Mikhalchik and Guarnoni worked their way back up through the standings to reach the podium positions.
The 2023 season started with third place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team and the #37 BMW M 1000 RR. They followed this up with third place and another podium at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. At the 8-hour race at Suzuka, the team secured an outstanding sixth place with the best performance of any European team. The team featuring Reiterberger, Mikhalchik and Guarnoni reached the rostrum again to round off the season – both in the Bol d’Or and in the world championship.
"I am certainly feeling very happy. That was a tumultuous race here. We made a different tactical choice and maybe we had some bad luck with the safety car. But the two defects also cost us some time. However, we always managed to come back. I think that was my best race performance. I was able to really push in each stint, catching up on the bikes ahead, posting consistently fast lap times and keeping pace with the fastest racers. I completed the final two stints. I had been feeling good up to that point, but the last one was really tough. We gave it everything as we were still aiming to finish second and secure second place in the world championship. However, it wasn’t possible as the gap was just too large. I am still very pleased nonetheless. We completed every race and it looks like we have solved the problems that we had last year. And I think that if we continue to improve a bit, we can be challenging for the world championship title next year. Thanks to everyone at BMW Motorrad Motorsport and in the team, who all worked so hard. I think that we can be proud of what we have achieved, and we will manage to take the next step."