Ilya Mikhalchik takes over championship-lead; difficult weekend for Julian Puffe


The sixth round of the IDM – International German championship took place this weekend on the Autodrom Most in Czech Republic. The alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW Team arrived to the 4.1 km long circuit with Julian Puffe leading the championship and is leaving, still leading the championship, but with a change of the leader. With two wins in race one and race two Ilya Mikhalchik overtook his teammate and is now leading the championship with 41 points advantage. 


The alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW Team arrived to the Czech circuit under best weather conditions. The practice Friday went well, apart from some minor problems. Both riders finished the day in the Top two. But then the conditions changed over night and partly heavy rain poured down. Therefore it was impossible to improve the lap times of the qualifying in the morning during the second qualifying as it was raining. Only three riders decided to go out in the rainy, wet second qualifying, Ilya Mikhalchik started the race one in second position. Julian Puffe went from fifth position into the race one. 


Puffe had a good start, but due to a problem with the electronic of his bike, he was pushed wide in the traffic of the first corner. He lost several positions, but the 23-years-old was able to fight back during the race up to sixth position. Two laps before the end he crashed and was not able to take any points home. Mikhalchik did not have the best start into race one, but was able to ride to the top where he finished a lonely race, which he won with a best lap time of 1’35.430.


It was a race against time on Puffe’s side of the garage, then as the BMW S 1000 RR had to be build up again after the crash in race one to be ready just in time for race two. Only a few seconds before the pitlane opened, Puffe’s mechanics had finished the bike and he was able to ride it in race two. Puffe had a really good start into the race, but again suffered problems with his bike and after just five laps he crashed again. Mikhalchik rode a solid race after a modest start, but fought his way to the top once again and also won race two on the Autodrom in Most. 


With a double win and the places one and two in the championship, the alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW Team will arrive to the Dutch racetrack in Assen on 6th of September to take part in the seventh and penultimate round of the championship with Ilya Mikhalchik in first and Julian Puffe in second position in the overall standings.


llya Mikhalchik, #1: „It was almost a fantastic weekend for us. The reason why it was not 100% perfect was, that I did not get the Pole Position, but that was the weather’s fault. Of course we are still happy, as the races are the main part and we won both of them. We did not have any problems this weekend and these two victories are very important for us. I am looking forward to Assen now. It is one of my favorite tracks. I want to thank also all the people who came to Most this weekend and supported us here.“


Julian Puffe, #19: „The weekend started with bad luck already. We had a few technical issues on Friday. On Saturday the weather was bad and we only did two laps in total. I qualified on fifth position, nothing was lost yet. At the first race I had electronic problems right after the start. The race was already over for me. I had difficulties to ride the bike and could not change gears and two laps before the finish I crashed. I had a decent start into the second race, but I was pushed wide in the first corner and lost some positions. I was able to catch up a few places again, but then I crashed without any warning. We have to analyze now where the problem was and forget about this weekend as good as possible to attack again in Assen. I want to thank my team, that they fixed my bike really fast after the first race.“


Werner Daemen, Team Manager: „It has been a difficult weekend, also for me personally. We had an electronic issue with Julian’s bike. He came here leading the championship and then he crashed two times. Now we have to find out what the problem was. It was not Julian’s fault, this happens in racing. On the other side of the garage Ilya did a top job. He won two times and is now leading the championship with 41 points advantage. He was nine points behind when we came here. It is not only important for us to be part of the IDM, but also to win it. And both of our riders would deserve that. I am quite satisfied this weekend. Both are healthy and the rest is not that important.“


Picture: © Dino Eisele

Picture: © Dino Eisele