- Judith Pieper-Köhler
Reiti gets fourth IDM title | Championship already decided early in Assen
At the moment Markus Reiterberger has to take a deep breath and let it sink in what just happened on the legendary GP track in Assen in the Netherlands. With two victories on today's race day, the Bavarian has closed the championship in the Cathedral of Speed and secured his fourth German title in the Superbike class of the International German Motorcycle Championship. The 28-year-old knew that this would be mathematically possible this weekend, but his main opponent Florian Alt (Wilbers BMW) had been strong all practice days and was hot on his heels.
In the first race at noon today, after starting from the last row, Flo had already secured sixth position on lap two. Reiti had a good start and was able to push properly. Close behind him on lap three was guest starter Loris Baz (Bonovo Action Team), who he knows from WorldSBK. On the last lap, the Frenchman was just 0.3 seconds behind Reiterberger and crossed the finish line 0.046 seconds behind him in second place. Markus Reiterberger secured his seventh win of the season by a very narrow margin.
Due to the reverse grid used in the IDM Superbike class, Reiti started the second race from eighth position. He got away well again and was already in fourth place on lap one. A moment of shock from the three riders in front of him caused a small and brief confusion. All three rode too far and had to move to the run-off area. However, Reiti was undeterred and remained steadfast in his position. Shortly thereafter he was in second place behind race leader Baz. In lap six Florian Alt dropped out due to another technical defect and even with second place Reiti would have been sure of the championship because Loris Baz as a guest starter does not get any points. But on lap twelve, the man from Obing passed the Frenchman and secured the eighth of nine possible wins so far this season, which brought him his fourth championship title after 2013, 2015 and 2017.
The weekend could not have been more perfect for Markus Reiterberger. But he will probably only really realize it a little later, when he can toast with his BCC-alpha-Van Zon-BMW team around IDM veteran Werner Daemen, because the team did a perfect job again this weekend and has Reiterberger provided a top bike.
“I pushed really hard in the first race and got off to a good start. But I didn't want to put a strain on the tyres right from the start and only rode really good laps towards the middle of the race. Then I had some small chattering issues that we have yet to evaluate. Baz was really strong today. After I was in front, I thought in between that I could take a deep breath, but he already closed onto me. After the second race I'm just happy now. Of course I was aware that if things went really weird, I could already be champion today, but I really didn't expect it. I'm really sorry for Flo. He's just been extremely unlucky this season because he really wasn't an easy opponent for me and he's had strong races. I'm all the more proud that my team managed to give me such a great bike. We didn't have any retirements, which makes me incredibly happy and proud. The second race today went really well for me. I had a great start and followed Loris. After the brief confusion at the front, where the three riders in front of me rode too far and had to swerve, I was able to catch up with Loris within three laps and then overtook him. I would like to thank my team, who did a great job again this weekend. I am very happy that I was able to reward them with the championship title early on. That was a really great weekend.”