Markus Reiterberger is looking forward to the 8 Hours of Suzuka
This weekend, Markus Reiterberger and the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team and the FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC) are in Asia. Round three of the 2023 season will take place at Suzuka, Japan, from 4th to 6th August. The eight-hour race is a real classic on the series’ calendar and is being held for the 44th time this year. Reiti is aiming for a top five result with his teammates Ilya Mikhalchik and Jérémy Guarnoni.
Armed with the new #37 BMW M 1000 RR, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team finished on the podium in third place in each of the first two races of the season, the 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans and the 24H SPA EWC Motos at Spa-Francorchamps. The Suzuka 8 Hours has always been the most important race of the year for the Japanese manufacturers. As such, they line up with a host of strong teams. In preparation for the weekend, Reiti and the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team spent two days testing at Suzuka at the start of July. More test sessions followed this Wednesday. One challenge facing everyone at Suzuka is the climate; high temperatures combined with very high humidity are among the features of this event.
The race weekend begins on Friday with free practice and the first qualifying sessions. That is followed on Saturday by the second qualifying and the Top 10 Trial, in which the first ten positions on the grid are determined. The race itself gets underway at 11:30 local time (04:30 CEST) on Sunday.
"The test day was pretty hot but very productive. To be honest, after the last test, we went into the event with lower expectations because we still had some things on our list. However, we got off to a good start, and Dunlop Japan also helped us a lot. We also tried a lot with the suspension and electronics, and in the process, we found and improved several things. In the morning, Ilya and I were relatively equally fast in the top six; in the afternoon, I struggled a bit, but he was really quick. Now, we will work on finding a good setup for all three of us. Overall, we are motivated and want to get the best out of it. In terms of race pace, we are in a good position. The competition is particularly strong here at Suzuka, but we want to take as many points as possible. If we want to be modest, we’ll say the goal is the top ten, but we’re aiming more for the top five. We can achieve that, and we also need these points for the season finale where we want to become world champions."