At the beginning of July, the Van Zon-Remeha-BMW team had bravely won the highlight of the current season at the International German Motorcycle Championship (IDM) in Zolder, Belgium. With a double win by Markus Reiterberger, the Bavarian more than justified his role to be the man to beat in the IDM Superbike class. His Dutch team colleague Danny de Boer and the two German riders Jan Bühn and Arnaud Friedrich had also presented themselves brilliantly during the home race of the team around the Belgian Teamchef Werner Daemen. Last weekend was the next highlight on the seven-race IDM calendar. Riders and fans met at the „Schleizer triangle“, where most oft he track is made out of public roads and therefore represent a special challenge for man and machine.
Markus Reiterberger is an avowed Schleiz-fan and was also looking forward to his personal home race this time. Numerous fans were from Bavaria and the Reiti fan club also completed his annual trip to Thuringia. The BMW pilot himself had to work a tight program in the days before the IDM round. Reiterberger was at Lausitzring for the official Superbike World Championship test in the middle of August for his planned Wildcard-appearance. He only had one day to catch the breath before he showed up in Schleiz for his IDM duties. “The three test days were already exhausting,” he admitted without hesitation. “But we went to Schleiz on Wednesday and were able to prepare everything on schedule. The conversion from the BMW S1000RR built for the World Championship Wildcard to my IDM bike was not too big. There’s a lot of IDM in the WorldSBK motorcycle. ”
On Friday, his mechanics had to change the engine on his BMW, but everything was ready for the qualifying. Even in the first qualifying, Reiterberger hauled a quick round after the other and with his best time of 1.24,606 min, leaving the complete competition behind, with a lead of 1.484 seconds. The pole position was not to be taken after the second qualifying. A glass-clear victory was also his first SBK race. From the start, he dominated the race from the top and left his team with only the fight for the remaining two podium places. “It was a good race for me,” he said, seeing the target flag 24 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. “My motorbike was simply a dream and I am totally grateful to my team. Of course, this is also a preparation for my WorldSBK Wildcard at the Lausitzring in three weeks. That is why I always give everything in an IDM race and I want to push through it until the end. The information gained will certainly help us also for our Wildcard appearance at Lausitzring. »
In the second race it was Reiterberger again, who determined the pace from the top and was in his own league. With the increased temperatures, however, the two-time German Superbike champion also wasn´t sure about his tire decision. “I had a few doubts because it was a lot hotter,” he said after victory number 2. “We had put on a really soft tire and brought it to work well. It was just a great weekend and have to say thanks to my mechanics and also to Pirelli. What can I say, there are only three words: Schleiz is awesome. “In the overall championship rankings, the BMW Motorrad rider now leads with 145 points, in front of team mate Danny de Boer.
Danny de Boer had the longest journey from the Netherlands this weekend. The Schleizer triangle isn´t yet one of his favorite tracks. “In Assen and Hockenheim, I definitely have more chances to win a race,” the dutch Superbiker admitted. “But Schleiz also belongs to the calendar, just like any other race. This is not about personal preferences. In the free practice we used the time and could still try a lot of adjustments to the setting. “In the second qualifying session, he struck another eight tenths of a second at his best time of the morning session and rewarded himself with his starting position 3.
After the first race the Dutchman was not really happy with his performance. He had flown away from his starting position, but already in the first lap he made a small mistake and had to make a detour through the grass besides the track. He reappeared only in the rear midfield after the second lap and then had to complete a tedious chase at summer temperatures, which finally brought him still the counter for 9th place. “It happened in the second lap,” says de Boer. “There is a bump on the top of the hill, and I have braked too hard there. At the time, I was third. I got the rear wheel up and I had to go through the grass.” In the second race, things were going better, although the Dutchman could not fullfill his plans totally because of a prematurely race cancellation due to red flag. With a P3 result the weekend took a conciliatory end. “Of course I’m not totally happy with the first race,” he admitted after the victory. “But after the second race, I feel better. The atmosphere was great here. My favorite track is not Schleiz, but the audience is fantastic.”
Jan Bühn had enjoyed a private test in Oschersleben between the races in Zolder and Schleiz. “I do not need more kilometers after the last race in Endurance World Cup and the IDM test,” he explains. “But I was on my last year’s bike. The team had given me a few parts and Pirelli had the necessary tires. My Crewchief Ronny Schlieder was also there and we could still try some adjustments. For example, with the fork, we have made a few successful attempts.» Well equipped, Bühn was ready for Schleiz where he appreciates the atmosphere around the circuit. “There are a lot of enthusiastic fans on the road and you can see that as a rider.”With 4th place in the qualifying, Bühn already was confident for the races, just barely missed the first starting row by two hundredths of a second.
For Jan Bühn the first race was a tough fight for a podium. With Florian Alt and BMW colleague Dominik Vincon, Bühn fought for over the complete distance. The final decision was made only in the last lap. “Unfortunately, not too many blue flags were shown to the rounded pilots in front of us,” he said after the victory for third place. “This was always the case. Then, in the final lap, Vincon wanted to stick inside for catching Florian Alt, which was actually my plan. Suddenly, Vincon had a highsider and I had to dodge around him and his motorcycle. I then saved the third place over the finish line. It is of course great to be on the podium. “The second race ended unfortunately for Bühn. He had a highsider in lap 13 and the race had to be canceled with a red flag sign. “I fell on my shoulder,” says Bühn, “I had to sit down immediately and had no breath at first. I´m fine now an only have a few bruises on my knee and ellbow, but that is not dramatic. In the last chicane I wanted to pass a competitor and was a bit too early with acceleration. “As the previous lap is counted when red flag appears, Bühn emerged as sixth in the standings despite the crash.
Arnaud Friedrich has now declared the event on the Schleizer triangle also to his home race, since the IDM isn´t present at the Sachsenring. “I’m at home about 80 kilometers from Schleiz,” said 17-year-old Saxon rider. “I’ve known the Schleizer triangle since 2013, and last year I was competing here with a BMW S 1000 RR as well. I like it here and the atmosphere is just great. “The Friday practices did not go smoothly. He would have liked a a starting position in the first three rows, but he had to take grid 13 after his qualifying sessions. But the young man had a hard working day to complete. A small crash stuck him a little bit in the bone and nasty stomach cramps made his racing life not really easier.
Also in both races it did not go well for Friedrich, which he finished in P12 and P15. “My starts were okay,” he says. “In the first race, I was able to work up to 10th place. But over the distance I became weaker due to my physical conditions and the races seemed really long. The last laps were extremely hard. »Teamchef Werner Daemen was nevertheless satisfied with the performance of his Youngster. “He just has to learn,” says the former German champion. “But he will get ther. He is still at the beginning and was able to ride 1.26 lap times in Schleiz. That’s very good. ”
The Van Zon-Remeha-BMW team will be on IDM event number 4 in the Netherlands from 14th to 13th August.
Result Qualifying/Grid positions
1. 1.24.606 Markus Reiterberger (GER/BMW)
2. 1.25,457 Dominik Vincon (GER /BMW)
3. 1.25,790 Danny de Boer (NL/BMW)
4. 1.25,810 Jan Bühn (GER /BMW)
13. 1.26,777 Arnaud Friedrich (GER /BMW)
Result race 1
1. Markus Reiterberger (GER /BMW)
2. Florian Alt (GER /Yamaha)
3. Jan Bühn (GER /BMW)
9. Danny de Boer (NL/BMW)
12. Arnaud Friedrich (GER /BMW)
Result race 2
1. Markus Reiterberger (GER /BMW)
2. Dominik Vincon (GER /BMW)
3. Danny de Boer (NL/BMW)
6. Jan Bühn (GER /BMW)
15. Arnaud Friedrich (GER /BMW)
Championship rankings after 6 of 14 races
1. 145 Punkte Markus Reiterberger (GER /BMW)
2. 88 Punkte Danny de Boer (NL/BMW)
3. 75 Punkte Jan Bühn (GER /BMW)
14. 20 Punkte Arnaud Friedrich (GER /BMW)