Incredible atmosphere at the „Schleizer Dreieck”
The International German Motorcycle Championship did host the third round of the 2021 season this weekend, which was the 86th anniversary of the legendary „Schleizer Dreieck Race“. Almost 28,000 fans had traveled to the nature race track, not to miss the racing spectacle.
After the last event at the Nürburgring – as part of the Truck GP – had to be canceled due to the devastating flood catastrophe in the Eifel, the four riders of the EGS-alpha-Van Zon-BMW team couldn’t wait to finally get back on their BMW bikes and open the throttle.
The temperatures in Schleiz were already very hot on Friday, but Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR), Jan Mohr (AUT), Pepijn Bijsterbosch (NED) and Tim Eby (GER) were highly motivated to bring their team some important points. They finished the free practice session in the order listed above with second, eleventh, 13th and 22nd place. An old friend of the team, Markus Reiterberger, set the fastest times on Friday.
Reiterberger dominated Saturday’s qualifying too and secured pole position just tenths of a second ahead of Mikhalchik, who took second place on the grid for the first race on Sunday. Jan Mohr qualified 12th, Pepijn Bijsterbosch 13th and Tim Eby 20th.
The first race on Sunday started at 11:20 a.m. with 18 laps to go. Reiterberger dominated this one from the start. Mikhalchik, however, did not let himself be shaken off and stayed close to him. The two top riders were separated by just two thousandths of a second. The race remained exciting until the end with Reiterberger in the lead. One lap before the finish line, Ilya Mikhalchik overtook the Bavarian just before the last corner and rode to victory with a lead of just 0.475 seconds. Jan Mohr fought his way into the top ten and finished race one in ninth place with seven important championship points in his pocket. Pepijn Bijsterbosch lost a few positions at the beginning of the race after a pretty good start. And even if the Dutchman struggled a little with confidence in his bike today, he finished the race in 13th position. Tim Eby also pushed his BMW S 1000 RR as hard as he could today and finished the first of the two races in 18th place.
For the second race on Sunday afternoon, the starting grid reverses. As a result, Jan Mohr started from position six. Ilya Mikhalchik started from ninth position, Pepijn Bijsterbosch from 13th and Tim Eby from 20th. The second start did not go so well for the race winner from race one and he lost a couple of positions that he had to recover in the first laps of the race. Lap by lap, Mikhalchik rode towards the lead, but in the end crossed the finish line in second position and this time Markus Reiterberger went out as the winner. The second place in the second race brought the Ukrainian important points for the championship and in the overall standings he is now back in the top three after only one event, now holding the second place. He is only six points short of the championship lead.
Jan Mohr had lost a few places at the start of the second race due to a wheelie and a lack of feeling for the front wheel, but was able to recover during the course of the race and finished it in tenth place. Pepijn Bijsterbosch had no luck today. Already in the first race he lacked confidence in the bike due to braking problems. In the second race he had to return to the pits after only six laps, again for the same reason. He hopes the problem will be resolved in three weeks when his home race in Assen is taking place. Despite a few problems this weekend and a 19th place in race two, Tim Eby also takes home good memories, as he was able to improve his lap time by two seconds on his last visit to Schleiz.
The next stop of the International German Motorcycle Championship will be in three weeks, from 13-15 August at the TT circuit in Assen. Results, times and further information on the championship can be found at www.idm.de.