The WorldSBK and the Superstock 1000 European Championship put a stop at the Autodrome Brno in the Czech Republic after a six-year break. The two alpha Racing Van Zon BMW riders Markus Reiterberger and Jan Bühn went into the fifth race weekend of the season with high expectations. Markus Reiterberger’s last visit to Brno in 2012, when he was 17 years old in the same class, ended in fourth place with his best result of the season at the time.
The weather conditions at the beginning were less pleasing. The two pilots found a wet track that did not dry until the end of the session. Reiterberger, who was able to increase continuously in the rain, finished the session in eighth place. Jan Bühn finally found himself in fifteenth position.
P8 Markus Reiterberger 2´14.553 min (+2.989)
P15 Jan Bühn 2´20.330 min (+8.786 )
The second free practice on Friday was then started under optimal conditions. Reiti felt comfortable on his S 1000 RR right from the start and set the first mark with 2’04.094 min. As the training went on, he first put on with a 2’01.8, before he could increase again by another two-tenths. He dominated all sectors and was able to build on a 1.2 seconds gap to his closest rival Roberto Tamburini. The track record from the year 2009 was also vanished by Reiti´s performance. Jan Bühn, who has already completed a private test in Brno, achieved a 2’04.190 min in 12 laps.
FP1+2 combined results
P1 Reiterberger 2´01.670 min (-1.17)
P10 Bühn 2´04.190 min (+2.250)
On Saturday morning, in the third free practice, nothing changed in the rankings of the alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW riders. Reiterberger set the fastest lap time of 2’01.037 min (-0.274 sec) in the classification and Jan Bühn finished 10th with a 2’03.110 min. Both riders delivered consistent lap times in the last test before qualifying – a good sign for the German/Belgian team.
With a slight delay, due to a schedule shift, the STK1000 pilots went into the 30-minute qualifying. Reiterberger made the perfect debut with his first flying lap: a 2’01.000 min marked the start of a perfect qualifying session. Jan Bühn also started strong in the Top10. After four laps Reiterberger returned to the pits and with a suspension adjustment the attack on his own overall best time started – 10 minutes before the end of the session. In his seventh round, he broke through the barrier of 2:01 min. At the end it was a 2’00.855 min on the timesheets, with a gap of 0.5 seconds to runner-up Maximilian Scheib (Aprilia). Thus, Reiti also set a new pole record for the STK1000 class. Jan Bühn qualified for the excellent seventh starting position with a 2’02.436 min.
After a very good preparation for the dry settings of the two BMW S 1000 RR over the entire weekend, the rain god should keep an ace up his sleeve for the upcoming race. Reiterberger and Bühn were still riding with dry tires on the grid, but the track was already half rainy at this time. Directly on the grid, the necessary adjustments for a wet race were made in no time, while it started raining heavily. Reiterberger started from the pole position and held the lead only briefly. In the second corner he had to catch a heavy slide, which put him in second position behind the rain specialist Max Scheib (Aprilia). Jan Bühn got off to a good start but lost important places in the first lap, only coming back from 18th position on the first lap.
Reiti delivered consistent lap time, but also had to let go on Florian Marino on Yamaha. Around the middle of the race, Reiterberger increased his lap times and kept the distance to the front constant. From the sixth lap he got more and more problems, so that also Delbianco (BMW) could pass the 24-year-old Bavarian. Finally, he kept up the lap times and safely managed fourth place over the finish line. Jan Bühn worked his way up to 14th place and finished the Brno weekend with 2 European championship points.
Nevertheless Reiterberger was satisfied with the race result and collected 13 important points for the championship table. He now retains the lead with 99 points and has a 9-point lead over his closest rival Maximilian Scheib and 15 points over Roberto Tamburini. Jan Bühn is 13th in the overall ranking with 13 points.
With three races remaining, the next FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship round will take place from the 6th to the 8th of July in Misano, Italy.
Markus Reiterberger | P4
“In the dry it was a really good weekend and P4 in the race is fine for me. We have expanded the points to the toughest competitor Roberto Tamburini, but reduced to Max Scheib. At the next races we hope to be again in the lead and we now know how we can better match the bike in the rain. I think I was on the limit during the race and am convinced that we can find a step in the settings so that I can fight for victory in the rain. Basically, I’m happy with the weekend, although unfortunately we were not completely rewarded for our work. I was particularly happy that so many fans have joined us in Brno – that has given me a real boost.”
Jan Bühn | P14
“The weekend went pretty well until the race – we were able to improve from session to session. Shortly before the start of the race, we had to completely rebuild the setting, which was a scarce number, but the conditions are the same for all teams. My start was actually quite good, but in the rain I just miss a little speed. I scored 2 points and, above all, got a good feeling that I will take with me to Misano.”
Werner Daemen | Team principal alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW
“We can be satisfied with the results of the weekend in Brno. Markus and Jan delivered good lap times over all practice sessions and did well in qualifying with P1 and P7. Markus set a very fast time in qualifying with his track record of 2’00.855 min on a Superstock motorcycle and we were confident for the race. The rain just before the start then surprised us. Markus did a good job under these conditions and scored important points. Unfortunately, Jan was not fast enough in the first lap and has lost important places, but then fought himself back on P14. There are now three important races in the series ahead of us, where we will continue to work focused.”