The wide-ranging team Van Zon-Remeha-BMW travels from one home race to the next during this season of the International German Motorcycle Championship (IDM). At the start of the season it was the home race for the Belgian team owner Werner Daemen at home in Zolder, then Markus Reiterberger and Arnaud Friedrich had their highlight at Schleizer Dreieck in Thuringia. BMW rider Jan Bühn can only decorate himself with the “status symbol local hero” at the IDM final on the Hockenheimring. Last weekend, it was Danny de Boer with his favorite track in Assen.
Markus Reiterberger performed very properly in Zolder and in Schleiz with a respective double victory and always counts as a victory candidate in the IDM Superbike class. Even if team mate Danny the Boer had similar plans for the Dutch round in Assen. Reiterbergers goal was to keep the concentration at high level, as he is already one step ahead at his WorldSBK wild card entry at the Lausitzring round. Reiterberger will return to the international stage of the Superbike World Championship after his IDM round in Assen. “The last few weeks were a little stressful,” he admits. “We still have a lot to do with the World championship bike. For the Lausitz weekend, we will have a lot on our schedule and thankfully Gordon Unger from Team Penz13 will support us on the mechanic side. “But before that, it was still necessary to deliver a good performance in Assen. Even at the free trainings on Friday Reiterberger pushed a lot. Perfect timing was provided by the Bavarian in the second Qualifying. Already in the first rainy session he achieved the best lap time, but for the pole position it was in the final session, on an increasingly dry course. Four minutes before the end, he got himself a fresh pair of slick tyres again – result: Best time and a lead of 1.4 seconds to the rest of the field.
In both races Reiterberg took the best possible shot. Starting from pole position, he claimed the first place until the end oft he race with constant fast lap times and increased his gap to his next contender to two-digit seconds.
“I felt comfortable the first laps on the bike,” he says after race 1. “Later I got some problems with the corner exit and I could not keep the line quite so well. Without Danny de Boer’s technical problem, it would have been difficult. But it was not an easy race after all. In the end, I took out a little gas so I did not take any unnecessary risks. ”
After the second race and the second victory, the grin of IDM-Leader Reiterberger was even wider. Even if the start was more of a humble sort. “The performance was even better in the afternoon,” he said. “Thanks to Dirk Linnebacher, who had given me an even better chassis with more traction, which meant I had less trouble on the track. It would probably have gone faster over the weekend, but the weather during our qualifying sesions was very bad. I am glad I can leave Assen with the point maximum and now we´re on full focus fort he upcoming Lausitzring WorldSBK event. »
Danny de Boer is a big fan of the Dutch Grand Prix circuit. Not only because it is his home track and he has already done countless laps there, but also because he has successfully completed two tracks with Zolder and Schleiz, who are not one of his favorite tracks. He had already achieved a great success with the fourth place in Assen during his wild card start in the FIM Superstock EM this year. “I have a good feeling,” he said after the first training sessions. “Sure, I’m also pushing myself a bit, but not too much.” De Boer did not have any priorities in the changing Assen-typical weather. “I’m a little better in the rain than Markus Reiterberger,” says the Dutchman, “but I want to beat him in the dry.” But in training, both in the wet and in the increasingly dry session, de Boer had wasn´t able to beat Markus Reiterberger. “The last sector is my best,” said the second-placed rider with regard to the two races. De Boer ´s home is only a 25 minutes drive away from Assen so the Dutchman started with a kick extra motivation into both Superbike 1000 races.
In the first race, he had set himself a short distance behind team colleague Markus Reiterberger and still expected chances of a final overtake. But nothing came of it. His good performance was not rewarded. With a torn chain he entered his pit box disappointed. In race 2, the Dutchman secured a second place behind Reiterberger, even if his performance was not entirely satisfactory. “After the bad luck in the first race, I am already happy with race 2,” he assured. “But I did not feel so comfortable on my bike in the afternoon. It was no major problem, but I could not follow Markus. Of course, I did not want to crash again by taking too much risk because I need the points for the championship. ”
Jan Bühn had to take a fitness-break after his crash in Schleiz. His left leg, especially the knee, were a bit injured and therefore no running or cycling for him in preparation fort he Assen races. “It goes from top to bottom,” he explains. “But riding on the bike is no problem. Of course the local riders have a few advantages here, but I really like the track, especially the old part, which is so fast.” During the second qualifying session, Jan had some problems to keep his pace due to difficult weather conditions. “Especially at the chicane on the other side of the opposite track,” he reports to grid position 10. “I am happy that I did not crash in this conditions, but I guess I had a lack of confidence to the grip level.”
It was all the better in the two races. Although in race 1 he missed some chances. On the last few meters, he had to bow to a locals’ forward thrust after a remarkable race with hearty overtaking maneuvers. Pepijn Bijsterbosch snatched him fort he last podium position just a few meters before the finish line. Bühn later explained. “I should have chosen the line more closely. But finally, my start worked well. »
In race 2, Jan Bühn went back to the scene with a proper swing and again he found himself in a wild group. In the end, he finished 5th. “But I took a little too long to get through the group,” he says. “The red flag session in lap 12 has not made any difference to me now. I could not close the gap to the front in the last two remaining laps. That’s why I managed to score the maximum with 5th place and successfully defended my third place in the championship after this weekend. »
Arnaud Friedrich had not been able to deliver his best performance in Schleiz with a crash and a stomach disorder, but in Assen he showed himself again in old freshness. “Obviously the Schleiz weekend got me a little annoyed,” he admits. “But now all the wounds have healed and the weekend has been ticked off.” In Assen, the teenager is particularly well-disposed to hold the line of his choice. “Besides, I did not ride much kilometers in Assen,” he says. “There are already a few special corners where you need a little practice. In the evening we could still compare the data from me and my colleagues. The second, and after the rainy first decisive training, became a tough test for Friedrich, which ended for him on the 30th grid position. In the extremely mixed and difficult conditions of the first training minutes, Friedrich had hit a piece of wet asphalt in a corner and paid the price by crashing down. He remained unscathed, but the BMW had to go to the Van Zon-Remeha-BMW box for service after the training. Starting from P30 he had two difficult races ahead.
The incident from the training had ticked off on Friedrich and he was ready to get the maximum out of himself and his BMW. He did an awesome job during both races and rewarded himself and his team for this performance with two top 15 ranks and thus with championship points. “Now my mood is better again,” he confirmed later. “I did lap times like the top ten. In the first race I lost some ground in the end because the tyre was not quite as good as it was at the beginning. The red flag session during the second race surprised me a bit and my plan did not quite go as I wanted. I had already closed the gap to Florian Alt and Dominic Schmitter, but then there was the red flag and the session was over.”
Team Van Zon-Remeha-BMW is already on the road to Lausitzring, where all four riders will take part at the IDM Superbike event. IDM leader Markus Reiterberger additionally wants to show his former colleagues in WorldSBK that he is still competitive at the highest level of motorcycle racing. He will complete a wild card entry with his Van Zon-Remeha-BMW crew in the German WorldSBK round.
Result Qualifying/Grid positions
1 1.40,773 Markus Reiterberger (D/BMW)
2 1.42,249 Danny de Boer (NL/BMW)
3 1.42,677 Pepijn Bijsterbosch (NL/BMW)
10 1.43,653 Jan Bühn (D/BMW)
30 1.53,124 Arnaud Friedrich (D/BMW)
Result Race 1
1 Markus Reiterberger (D/BMW)
2 Florian Alt (D/Yamaha)
3 Pepijn Bijsterbosch (NL/Yamaha)
4 Jan Bühn (D/BMW)
12 Arnaud Friedrich (D/BMW)
Result Race 2
1 Markus Reiterberger (D/BMW)
2 Danny de Boer (NL/BMW)
3 Pepijn Bijsterbosch (NL/Yamaha)
5 Jan Bühn (D/BMW)
15 Arnaud Friedrich (D/BMW)
Championship standings after 8 of 14 races
1 195 Punkte Markus Reiterberger (D/BMW)
2 108 Punkte Danny de Boer (NL/BMW)
3 99 Punkte Jan Bühn (D/BMW)
14 25 Punkte Arnaud Friedrich (D/BMW)
Riders quote IDM Assen (NL)