- Judith Pieper-Köhler
Reiti expands his portfolio with a weekend in the BSB
Markus Reiterberger expanded his portfolio of championships in which he has already participated this weekend at the Bennett's British Superbike Championship alongside Peter Hickman in the Smiths Racing Global Robots BMW Team. The offer came at very short notice during the 12-hour race in Estoril a week ago and the 26-year-old didn't have to think twice about it as his racing season officially finished for this year, after the cancellation of the Asia Road Racing Championship and his last outing for the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team at the 12-hour race in Portugal.
After arriving in Donington Park, Great Britain, with his long-time companions of Alpha Racing, Reiti quickly realized that the BMW, which is used without traction and wheelie control due to the valid regulations of the series, would not go as usual. Many adjustments were made on the eve of the first day of training after the strategy for the weekend was determined at a meeting at Alpha Racing. Reiti then finished the training on Friday in 17th and 18th position. The first training took place in the dry. The cool temperatures didn't make it any easier. Many modifications were made to the BMW, including a daring set-up for the front of the motorcycle. During the practice a technical problem arose and after that the weather showed its typically English side and stayed continuously wet until Sunday morning. Saturday consisted of waiting. The qualifications were completely canceled due to the flooded sections of the track. The starting grid for the races resulted from the combined practice times of Friday. On Saturday only one warm-up session took place, which Reiterberger finished in 18th position.
There was another warm-up on Sunday morning. The changes on Saturday have paid off. Reiti finished in seventh position - a ray of hope. But then the track dried up and the conditions changed again for the Bavarian and his English team between the races. In race one, the conditions were half wet and half dry and Reiti finished in 21st place. In race two he finished in 14th position and in the third race he was 18th. In dry conditions, Markus was able to ride the motorcycle cleanly for the first time and get to know it better. A few more changes were made to the chassis. All in all, Reiterberger had imagined the weekend differently and sees it as an experience.
“It was really a very difficult weekend for me. I was well aware that the bike would feel different, but I hadn't expected such serious differences. When the track conditions were still the same, we were able to improve significantly and that was a satisfying feeling, but then the conditions changed completely and we basically started all over again. There was simply not enough time for that. In the dry I was finally able to get to know the bike, but that was just too late, because that was only possible from race two when it got dry. I haven't had time to prepare for the series. Without any experience in the BSB, it is really a very hard place. You can't believe how different the motorcycle behaves with these different electronics. The lack of traction and wheelie control weren't the problem at all. You can find out quickly. But the drivability, throttle response and power delivery, etc. are almost uncontrollable. It sure takes a lot more laps than I had to get the trick. But experience has shown me once again that you can't just go to any series and think that you will then be in the front. It takes time and getting used to. I just take the weekend with me as an experience and hope that it will help me a little further in the future."