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.

Ilya Mikhalchik, #37:

“I had a nice weekend in the hot Schleiz. It was very nice to see all the fans back on the track and to feel their support. And even if I’m not German, the fans cheered me on just as much as, for example, Markus. I found that very nice. Positions one and two are of course great. I’ve been fast all this weekend. I was even able to break the lap record that Markus set a few years ago when he was champion. I rode the first race very calmly and consistently and won it with my strategy without making any mistakes. I started the second race from position nine thanks to the ‘reverse grid’ and that wasn’t easy. I wasn’t that lucky at the start and was held up, which cost me a few positions. I then got my positions back, but that meant I lost quite a bit of grip. After six or seven laps I was with Markus. I had a good pace and was able to close the gap. In the end, however, it was only enough for second place. Still, I’m back in the top three in the championship, despite the two races in Most that I missed. I am very satisfied with that. Assen is always a great track for me and so I’m looking forward to the next race. “

Jan Mohr, #5:

“I had a few problems with the track here in Schleiz on Friday. But that went better and better. We were all very close together and I finished the free practice sessions in eleventh place. Saturday went really well. I was able to ride a fast lap right away and was in fifth position at times. In the end, I finished first qualifying in ten and the second in twelfth. Basically a lot was possible today. I had a great rhythm and finished the first race in ninth place, again in the top ten. As a result, I started the second race from ninth position, but had a big wheelie right at the start and also had no really good feeling for the front. I was able to make up a few places. I think two top ten results are okay with the grid and I’m satisfied. I am now looking forward to Assen and will attack there again. “

Pepijn Bijsterbosch, #55:

“That was not a good weekend for me. On Friday I already had problems with the bike. Saturday went really well. We found a couple of settings that helped me. Then in the first race today I didn’t trust my bike because there were problems with the brakes. And in the second race I had to come back in after only six laps and couldn’t finish the race for the same reason. Of course I’m not happy with this weekend. But I can’t change it and now I hope that we can find a solution before my home race in Assen. “

Tim Eby, #17:

“At the beginning I was actually quite positively surprised because I was faster than my previous time on the racetrack. The second and third training sessions didn’t go so well. I fell in the second training session. But luckily nothing happened. The first qualifying was really good, we changed a few things on the bike. In the second qualifying we unfortunately bet on the wrong tyre and I couldn’t improve any further. But I’m pretty happy with the first race because I’ve set good times not only once. In the second race I rode a little too far and then had a fairly large gap to the group in front of me. Nevertheless, I found it positive that this time I was almost two seconds faster than my previous best time from our last visit to Schleiz two years ago. But now I’m really looking forward to Assen.”

Werner Daemen, Team Manager:

“I’m very satisfied. I think it will take us until the last race at the Hockenheimring to ride for the championship, but Ilya already made the jump from ninth to second today in the overall standings. I’m really happy with that, of course. Jan and Tim did a good job too. Unfortunately, Pepijn had problems with the brakes. We have to fix that by the next event. But I think that things will definitely go better for him on his home track in Assen. “