Penultimate event of the 2020 IDM season at the Lausitzring ended with two podium places
This weekend, just two days after the second event of the 2020 IDM season at the Sachsenring circuit this week, the penultimate round of the International German Championship took place at the Lausitzring, just 115 km southeast of the state capital Berlin. Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR), Vladimir Leonov (RUS) and Tim Eby (DEU) arrived at the circuit with high motivations after the good results at the Sachsenring. On the Thursday before the event, the EGS-alpha-Van Zon-BMW riders had arranged to go on a short bike tour around Lake Senftenberg and enjoyed the ideal weather around the Lausitzring.
With a three-day schedule, there was only free practice on Friday for the Superbike 1000 riders. Mikhalchik, Leonov and Eby finished the day in 2nd, 4th and 20th positions. Jonas Folger (Bonovo Action by MGM Racing) was also unbeatable on the first day on a racetrack that is unknown to the Bavarian. Ilya was able to catch up with him quite well and was only 0.150 seconds behind the ex-MotoGP rider.
In the qualifyings on Saturday, the three EGS-alpha-Van Zon-BMW riders fought for second (Ilya Mikhalchik), fifth (Vladimir Leonov) and 21st (Tim Eby) on the grid. Eby is not satisfied with his starting position after a few problems during qualifying, but was looking forward to the races anyway. Unfortunately, the 26-year-old had to give up after only ten laps in the first race with technical problems and returned to the pits without crossing the finish line. Mikhalchik and Leonov started race one from positions two and five. Mikhalchik was able to keep up with front runner Jonas Folger. Only from lap ten the gap to first place increased a little and Jonas Folger crossed the finish line with around seven seconds ahead of the Ukrainian. Vladmir Leonov had already worked his way up to third after starting from fifth position on lap four and held Erwan Nigon (TEAM Kawasaki Weber Motos Racing) and Florian Alt (TEAM Wilbers-BMW-Racing) until lap seven of the 16-lap-race behind. On lap seven, however, the Frenchman (Nigon) passed him and placed him in fourth. One lap later, on lap eight, also Alt was past the Russian. The fight for the third and last podium place was then decided between Nigon and Alt. Alt emerged as the winner. Loenov finished the first race of the IDM SBK 1000 class in fifth place.
The second race took place on Sunday afternoon. Due to the placement in the first race and the reverse grid procedure, the EGS-alpha-Van Zon-BMW riders took second (Vladimir Leonov), eighth (lya Mikhalchik) and 21st (Tim Eby) positions on the grid. Again it was 16 laps around the Lausitzring fighting for the trophies. Vladimir Leonov made as good a start as Ilya Mikhalchik and took the lead. Mikhalchik had the best start of his last racing years from the third row on the grid and was already in third position at turn one. But Folger also got off to a good start and passed his colleagues on the outside. Leonov was able to hold onto the lead until the fourth lap, but then the Bavarian passed Leonov and took over at the front. In the fifth lap, Folger had already pulled away from the lead. In the sixth lap, team-mates Mikhalchik and Leonov were looking for second position. Mikhalchik passed Leonov on lap seven and settled in second position, which he held until the finish. Behind the Ukrainian, the fight for third place on the podium was carried out by Erwan Nigon, Florian Alt and Vladimir Leonov, as in the first race. In the ninth lap, Leonov had to give up his third position to Florian Alt. Two laps later, the Russian couldn’t keep his racing line and so Nigon passed him too. With one lap to go, Leonov was able to leave Nigon behind him again, but Dominic Schmitter (TEAM HESS Racing) managed to get past both of them and pushed the 33-year-old into fifth position. At the end of the field, EGS alpha Van Zon BMW rider Tim Eby swapped places with Björn Stuppi (TEAM Buchner Motorsport powered by KME). Eby made it to the finish line ahead of Stuppi and finished the second race in position 21.
The fourth and last race of the shortened IDM season 2020 will take place at the Hockenheimring in 14 days, from 25th to 27th of September.
Ilya Mikhalchik # 1:
“I had a pretty good weekend. I was able to finish both races in second position and was on the podium. In the first race I had a good feeling with the bike, but I had difficulties with the hard tires and the lack of grip. I just couldn’t get up to Jonas, but the race was very good. In the second race I probably had my best start from the third row in all of the past few years. But here too I had problems, this time with the front tire, in the second corner. I almost crashed and then understood that I couldn’t get any further up to fight with Jonas. From the seventh or eighth lap, I only rode it to the finish. It was still the second place and these are again important points for the championship. Now I will relax a little bit and prepare for the last race at the Hockenheimring.„
Tim Eby # 17:
“The first day here at the Lausitzring didn’t start out so well for me, but then it got better and better, so I thought it could be a really good weekend. I then hoped for the qualifyings, but the changes we made to the chassis weren’t so good for me. After that my hope was laid onto race day. The warm up went pretty good. Unfortunately, I had a technical problem with the bike in the first race and had to return to the pits after only ten laps. The same mistake occurred in the second race, but I was able to finish it. But not much was possible, which of course disappoints me. I had hoped for more, especially because I was testing here in the preseason. Now I just hope that I will be a little more lucky at the Hockenheimring.„
Vladimir Leonov # 65:
“That was a very difficult weekend for me. The track is not that easy. There is a similar track in Russia on which I rode the same motorcycle in the Russian championship this year and I had the same problems as here at the Lausitzring. Despite the fact that the second race went much better than the first, we didn’t find the last bit to improve the bike for me. I even tried to change my seating position to counteract these bumps on the track, but it was just hard to maintain a good pace during the race. Then I made a few mistakes in the second race. Third place would certainly have been possible. Of course I am disappointed, also because the championship is very short with only four events and leaves no room for mistakes. You don’t have that much time to try out a few things. But of course I would like to thank my team again also this time for working really hard to help me with my problems.”
Werner Daemen, Team Manager:
“Tim was really unlucky in the first race. The second race went better for him. Of course, he also claims that he wants to get better. That’s good, it keeps him motivated and I hope that he will succeed at the Hockenheimring.
Vladimir didn’t feel comfortable with the set-up in race one. The second race went better for him, he was able to stay in the lead for a few laps. Towards the end he struggled again, but I’m happy with Vladimir’s work. He did well here. But I know that his demands on himself are much higher. Ilya showed once again today that he rides at a top level and did really really well. He got the maximum out of the bike in the first race. Folger had also reached his limits a couple of times here at the Lausitzring. It did not go as easy as at the Sachsenring circuit. So I have to say that overall I am satisfied with our weekend at the Lausitzring. Now there is only one event left and then the season is over. So my expectations for the Hockenheimring are high.”