Markus Reiterberger on the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team has started the 2023 FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC) with a podium finish. At the season opener, the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans (France), Markus Reiterberger finished third together with his teammates Ilya Mikhalchik and Jérémy Guarnoni.
After difficult, changeable conditions prevailed in qualifying, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team started the 24 hour race from eighth place on the grid. After just 90 minutes, the #37 BMW M 1000 RR was in second place, and in the following hours Reiterberger, Mikhalchik and Guarnoni battled for the lead at the front.
In the eighth hour of racing, however, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team initially suffered a setback. While overtaking a slower rider, Mikhalchik slid and had to head for the pits with a damaged bike. With a fantastic team effort, the team repaired the bike and sent Mikhalchik back on track after only seven and a half minutes. Starting from seventh place, the trio on the #37 then launched a strong recovery.
As the race progressed, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team defied the difficult conditions with very cold temperatures and fog in the morning and made up position after position. Early on Sunday morning, in the 19th hour of racing, the #37 BMW M 1000 RR was back in third place and thus on course for the podium. Reiterberger, Mikhalchik and Guarnoni did not relinquish this position until the finish.
"It's great to start the new season with a podium at Le Mans. It was a very eventful race and the fact that we are going home with a trophy at the end is the well-deserved reward for the hard work of the whole team. Our new BMW M 1000 RR was fast and great to ride. Starting from eighth on the grid, we fought for the lead early in the race. The bike ran smoothly, the tyres were right, in all the conditions we experienced at Le Mans. We showed how strong our package is when we worked our way back to the front after the repair, which the team did super fast. We showed that even victory would have been possible if the crash hadn't happened. But this can happen in a race as turbulent as this one. Overall, there are a lot of points that make us very confident going into the next races."