- Judith Pieper-Köhler
(EN) Successful last test of the WorldSBK-preseason at Phillip Island concluded
Aktualisiert: 21. Feb. 2019
Markus Reiterberger heads positive towards the new season
After Markus Reiterberger had overcome his jetlag after the long travel to Phillip Island , the last official test of the WorldSBK-preseason took place on Monday, 18thof February and Tuesday, 19thof February on the famous Grand-Prix-circuit, which is only two hours away from Melbourne, Australia. It’s the third visit to the Island for “Reiti”. He knows the circuit and its demands and prepared himself accordingly. But it is the first meeting with his new team, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team on Australian sole. Since the last test in Portimao, Portugal three weeks have gone by already. It was enough time to evaluate the collected data before the next test.
The first testing day started positive for the 24-years-old Bavarian. Reiterberger was able to stay in the Top Ten and partly even in the Top Five of the group. The BMW S 1000 RR worked much better at Phillip Island than in Portimao three weeks ago. The movement of the bike got less, but the grip is still lacking. BMW came with a lot of new parts to Australia and the duty of the team was to vet all of them. Markus Reiterberger and his crew were able to manage the testing plan set for Phillip Island and finished the day one in ninth position, with an only 1.2 seconds gap to the top. Due to some pain in his left shoulder, that occurred during training in November last year for the first time, Reiterberger was not able to outspend himself as much as he would have liked to. The long left-hand corners of the circuit strain the left shoulder a lot and he had to get treatment in the Clinica Mobile after the test had finished.
The second testing day proceeded as positive as the first one, although you may don’t notice that looking on the time sheets. During the first laps in the morning Reiterberger was present and even shortly able to move around the fourth position. He was never far from his teammate Tom Sykes (GBR). It was also possible to improve the rear-grip of the bike. But after testing a new set of Pirelli-tyres and after the change back to the tyres from the morning, the BMW S 1000 RR wasn’t as smooth as in the morning anymore and reacted quite delicate to the grip-level of the racetrack. The work of the afternoon contained to find a solution for that. Because of another small technical problem the Youngster from Obing, Germany was not able to go out on track another time to improve his lap-time and finished the second test day in twelfth position. Even the shoulder was not a big hurdle anymore on this day.
Markus Reiterberger #28; P9 and P12: “I am quite satisfied with the test of these last two days. My team works fantastic. My crew chief Pete Benson takes a lot of time for me and does everything to use the collected data as good as possible. My whole team works really hard to set the bike up like I need it. The times aren’t bad and the bike feels much better as in Portimao. BMW brought a lot of new parts and we tested them all here. If we find a solution for balance, grip and movement, then I can be really fast. My general impression is positive and I am confident that we are on the right way. We have to be patient and don’t put ourselves too much under pressure. It is a new bike, which we have to learn to understand first. But today I had a lot of fun out there again and I am looking forward to the upcoming weekend and to the final start of the season.”