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  • sebastianfraenzsch

8h of Suzuka: Markus Reiterberger and BMW best Europeans

Markus Reiterberger and the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team recorded an outstanding, hard-earned seventh place at the Suzuka 8 Hours (JPN) to secure important championship points in the FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC). Reiti and his teammates Ilya Mikhalchik and Jérémy Guarnoni defied the hot and humid conditions as well as rain on the BMW M 1000 RR with the number 37. In a very competitive field featuring numerous Japanese teams on home soil, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team was the best European team and was accordingly awarded the Le-Mans-Award. Suzuka was hosting the third of four events in the 2023 FIM EWC. Ahead of the September finale at Le Castellet (FRA), the team is in third place in the World Championship standings. There is still every chance of closing the 37-point gap to the leaders in the final 24-hour race.

The Suzuka 8 Hours is the most important race of the year for the Japanese manufacturers. They compete with correspondingly strong works teams and works-supported squads. The target of the European teams is to score as many points as possible, which is exactly what the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team managed to do.

At 11:30 local time, the BMW M 1000 RR with the number 37 started the eight-hour race from eleventh on the grid. The bike fell back to 16th place during the opening stages, but Reiterberger and his teammates battled back courageously into the top ten before continuing to further progress through the standings. Despite the high temperatures and extreme humidity, they stayed cool, lapping consistently without making any mistakes. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team also applied its extensive experience to produce some outstanding work in the pits. The team and riders even kept their focus when rain set in around an hour before the end of the race. As darkness fell, the BMW M 1000 RR with the number 37 finished in a very good seventh place at 19:30 local time.

The season finale, the famous Bol d’Or 24-hour race at Le Castellet, will take place from 14th to 17th September.

Markus Reiterberger:

"I am relieved and happy. We were aiming for a top ten finish. Of course, the top five would have been even better, but we finished right in between and that is a good result. All three of us had a good race. I made a great start but then had a minor problem with the bike, which cost me a few positions. However, we were able to move up again. The third and final stint was draining, physically and mentally. It repeatedly rained and then dried out. I wasn’t sure whether to head to the pits or not. Luckily, we chose to stay out and our communication was good using the pit board. That enabled me to make up a few places. We really achieved the best possible result and finished ahead of all but one of our world championship rivals. That was important for the finale at Le Castellet too. A big thank you is due to the team for delivering superb pit stops once again and working so well, and to everyone who was cheering for us and helping us. That was a tough, demanding week, but everyone gave their all."

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