Text: Esther Babel

After seven months of winter break last weekend the starting shot for the International German Motorcycle Championship (IDM) fell for the 2017 season on the 3.618-kilometer sprint course of the Nürburgring. The Van Zon-Remeha-BMW team with Belgian team-owner Werner Daemen is again part of the show. With Markus Reiterberger (D), Jan Bühn (D), Danny de Boer (NL) and Arnaud Friedrich (D), team manager Daemen formed a competitive squad for this year´s IDM Superbike 1000 season.

The two-time German Superbike champion Markus Reiterberger is back on board after his World Superbike appearance and sick break. “I’m glad to be back,” says Reiterberger after the first training kilometers in the Eifel-region. The expectations for Reiterberger are high after two IDM titles and last year’s world championship season. But the Bavarian remains realistic. “My injuries have healed,” he clarifies. “But I still have to see the physiotherapist. In addition, Werner Daemen has put together a powerful team, so I am aware that I have the strongest competition in my own team.“ Furthermore, since this year, the rules of the IDM Superbike 1000 have been much more limited than in previous years. “We have fewer opportunities with our setting and we have to make appropriate compromises.” That did not prevent him, however, from challenging his team mates during qualifying and to secure the pole position for the first two races of the 2017 season.

The first start into the race was a clear matter for Reiterberger, but he couldn´t enjoy his first place for a long time. A rain shower made the organizers stop the session and with rain tires the fun went off from the beginning. The battle for the first position was up to the last meters. In the last round, his Dutch team mate Danny de Boer took the lead, and Reiterberger saw the finish flag in his IDM comeback as second. “It was very good in the dry,” he said. “In the rain, I’m not a specialist, I was not quite as sure as in dry conditions. At the end of the day, Danny could break a little harder than me.”I n the second race, carried out in the sun and without rain, there was no stopping for Reiterberger and he took a start-goal victory to celebrate the day. He constantly turned his 1.26 rounds around the Nürburgring and finished with a full 25-second lead over his following team mate Jan Bühn. After second place in the first race, this meant the overall lead in the championship. “The race was great,” the winner confirmed. “I finally won again. My goal was to be fast again and we have proved that this is possible. I am just so grateful that I have a great bike and a great team. »

A new addition to the team is the Dutchman Danny de Boer, who secured the title in the IDM Superstock 1000 in the last year. The first strike exchange during the hunt for the pole position was opened between de Boer and Reiterberger already on Friday. De Boer had already run warm two weeks ago. With a wild card, he achieved an outstanding result on fourth place at the Superstock 1000 European Championship during the WorldSBK event in Assen (NL). The Dutch brought the good mood to the Nürburgring. The Superstock champion in 2016 ranked second in the first row. “I think the set-up and race pace is quite good” says De Boer.

With the good racing pace, de Boer demonstrated his performance impressively, especially at the second start of the race – a rain shower had made the demolition of the first attempt necessary. He did not manage to escape, but he managed to control his BMW over 15 rounds and to fight with a late-braking maneuver against Markus Reiterberger for the first win of the season. “A spectacular race,” he said. “I wanted to get a a bigger gap, but that did not work out as it dried up more and more. Now I am happy with the victory. ” Unfortunately, he couldn´t keep up the good feeling for the second race. His team mate Reiterberger had won the start and De Boer had a lowsider while following the leader, fell in the first round and could not return to the race.

Jan Bühn had extended his contract in the Team Van Zon-Remeha-BMW for another year after the third place in the IDM Superstock 1000 season 2016 and did not have to change too much at the BMW S 1000 RR. With his well-trained team, Bühn was again present in the IDM top rider squad. In all the trainings, Bühn had a good pace and was rewarded starting from grid position 3. “I was more than satisfied with the result in the qualifying,” he said. “I was not able to fully take advantage of the qualifyer tire yet, but I was well prepared for the race“.

A change of tire was also neccessary after the race break for Bühn. As well as his opponents, he faced the more and more drying track with rain tires. He had a bad start and found himself in 11th position, but kept calm and worked his way forward. 5th place was the deserved reward for his coolness. “In the warm-up lap, my traction control had signaled an alarm,” he said afterwards. “Driving without traction control in rainy conditions would have been a bad idea. I then had to turn the ignition off and back on, which is like a reset. It took time”. In the second race, on a dry track, everything went smoothly for Bühn. Without problems, he started well and secured his position to the following riders. Place 2 the earned wage. “The bike fits,” added Bühn, “the team fits and I have agood feeling. So far, there is nothing wrong, and we are on a good path. »

The youngest pilot in the BMW line-up is 17-year-old Arnaud Friedrich. “I like the ambiance and feel of the Nürburgring,” the newcomer assures. “For me it’s a change. Last year, I was a single-fighter in the IDM and now I’m part of a really big and professional team”. For the training, Friedrich had mainly done the adjustments in the basic cornering set-up. On Friday, he fled quickly into the top ten and continued this trend in qualifying. This performance was rewarded with the 13th place in the field, full of 31 pilots. “It was my first qualifying session with a real qualifying tire,” he said. “I could not use it to the fullest, but we will see what´s possible in the race. ”

In the first race he did not achieve his goals. At the restart, made necessary by a rain shower and the race break, it was turbulent for the youngster. His BMW had a technical issue with the front wheel and had to be pushed back into the pit lane. So the teenager hitched after the field from behind. But he kept his nerves, finished the race cleanly and reached the goal as a twentieth. In the second race, it was better for the teenager and he could get his first top ten result. “In the first race I was unlucky,” the teenager summarizes the day. “But I fought myself back. In the second race it looked different and I was able to compete in a good group and make a good result. Now I’m already looking forward to the next race. »

As soon as the IDM started, the first break is already in the house. It is only in two months that the fun of the International German Motorcycle Championship continues. The program will then be held from 7 to 9 July in Zolder, Belgium, the home of team Van Zon-Remeha-BMW.

Result Qualifying/Grid

  1. 1.24,734 Markus Reiterberger (D/BMW)
  2. 1.25,095 Danny de Boer (NL/BMW)
  3. 1.25,886 Jan Bühn (D/BMW)
  4. 1.27,405 Arnaud Friedrich (D/BMW)

 

Result Race 1

  1. Danny de Boer (NL/BMW)
  2. Markus Reiterberger (D/BMW)
  3. Jan Bühn (D/BMW)
  4. Arnaud Friedrich (D/BMW)

Result Race 2

  1. Markus Reiterberger (D/BMW)
  2. Jan Bühn (D/BMW)
  3. Arnaud Friedrich (D/BMW)

DNF Danny De Boer (NL/BMW)

 

Championship standings after 2 of 14 races

  1. 45 points Markus Reiterberger (D/BMW)
  2. 31 points Jan Bühn (D/BMW)
  3. 25 points Danny de Boer (NL/BMW)
  4. 6 points Arnaud Friedrich (D/BMW)