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  • Judith Pieper-Köhler

(EN) Phillip Island WorldSBK – First Race Day Down Under is history

Markus Reiterberger fights to finish in 13thposition

With the new format and three races on one race weekend of the WorldSBK events, the first race of the Yamaha Finance Australian round of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island, Australia already took place today. Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was able to achieve the 13thstarting position on the grid with his 1:30.900 lap-time during the morning’s qualifying session and was just one and a half seconds behind pole-setter Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK).

The hot track conditions did not make it easy for “Reiti” and his BMW S 1000 RR as the grip level suffered under the temperatures of the surface (41°C track temperature, delightful 21°C in the air). Reiterberger had his difficulties to find a good rhythm during the morning because of a technical failure and started the race in front of the Australian audience from 13thgrid position.  To spare the rear tyre as long as possible for the race distance, the 24-years-old WorldSBK-returnee did not have the race start he wished for and after 22 laps he finished the first WorldSBK-race on the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit like he started it: in 13thposition. 

Markus Reiterberger #28, P13 (fastest race lap: 1'32.119): “The morning started off quite well today. It was a bit hotter than the days before and the grip level suffered again from that. Then my rear-sensor failed and I did not have the electronic anymore. I was hoping for this one good lap, but it did not happen and I had to settle with being 13thon the grid. The first race did not kick off well. I tried everything to go easy with the rear tyre, as I knew it would be difficult over a race distance. I was able to achieve that, but I was too slow considering the whole race distance. I still think the Top Ten finish (Tom Sykes finished the race in 7thposition) and my 13thplace are quite a good debut for the new BMW S 1000 RR. I am not that far away. I just have to continue to work on my adaption and the adaption of the bike. There is still potential to the top in both. We have a lot of support from all directions and will use it and try to make further improvements step by step.”

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