With his third IDM title in his pocket, Markus Reiterberger and his Van Zon-Remeha-BMW team traveled to the season finale of the FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship on the Spanish circuit of Jerez de la Frontera. Rehearsal for the permanent entry into the series in the coming season 2018 for Reiterberger and his Van Zon-Remeha-BMW crew.
The STK1000 European Championship takes place in all European race events of the World Superbike Championship and is considered a hard-fought rider field, which celebrated its season finale in Jerez. Reiterberger was already permanently in the STK1000 European Championship in 2011 and 2012, before he joined Werner Daemen in his IDM team and secured already three IDM titles there.
The wildcard entry served primarily as a source of information. Although the rules of the IDM are aligned to the Stocksport category, the tires and the chassis regulations of the STK1000 series are different. For Reiterberger and his team the focus was therefore on the learning effect.
Reiterberger used both free practice sessions to understand the new tires and the adapted suspension. In the first practice, however, Markus was only ranked 16th. For the second training, the crew around technical chief Dirk Linnebacher was able to make a far-reaching improvement with which Markus could make a clear leap in the right direction on used tires. Towards the end of the session, the team switched to a fresh tire pair with Markus achieving the seventh quickest time. It was a difficult day for the Van Zon-Remeha-BMW team, but it ended quite satisfactorily.
Markus Reiterberger | P7 | 1´43.366 min | +1.047
Reiti started taking the first position right after his outlap and began strong in the 30 minute qualifying session with a 1’42.8 min lap. It didn´t take long for Mike Jones on Ducati to counter the young Bavarian with a 1’42.1 min lap. With a lot of risk, but a small riding mistake, Markus put himself with a 1’42.2 min lap just behind Jones and put another attack after. With an almost perfect lap, Reiterberger pushed to the pole with a 1’41.113 min and a gap of just 0.023 seconds to Mike Jones – a new lap record on the freshly paved track. A sensational result for the Wildcard starter Reiterberger in the high-compettive STK1000 championship. The IDM team has succeeded in converting the setup of the S 1000 RR from slick to profile tires within just a few sessions. But how would the tires behave over the race distance?
At almost 40 ° C track temperature, Reiterberger controlled his lead in front of his BMW brand colleague Federico Sandi, who then replaced him as leader in the third lap. Markus studied his predecessor in the next three laps and realized that he could improve his speed. In a tight group to fight positions one to five, Reiti claimed the lead in the eighth lap again and got away within a few corners clearly from his strong pursuer field. In the coming lap he increased his gap continuously and even rode his fastest race lap with 1’42.741 min in the tenth round. Wildcard rider Markus Reiterberger won the Superstock 1000 European Championship race after 15 laps in Jerez with over five seconds ahead.
P1 | Markus Reiterberger | Fastest Lap 1´42.741 min | +5.078
„The rules of IDM and STK1000 are relatively similar. Here in Jerez, however, we are running with Pirelli tires, which are different from our IDM slicks. The motorcycle behaves differently than we are accustomed to. In addition, you have to have a different strategy over the entire weekend in STK1000 with different tactics fort he sessions. We noticed this very early and quickly understood. As a general rule, we were able to improve from session to session, and then even took pole position. We did not expect this to happen so quickly. In the STK 1000 championship there are very fast guys with good bikes on the track – strong competition. In the race I felt comfortable. After Sandi overtook me, I was expecting more pressure from the other pursuers but I was able to hold against their attacks. Then I realized that I can ride faster and overtook Sandi again. I was then a few laps really close to the limit, made up a comfortable gap and managed the lead to the finish line. An awesome weekend. My team provided me with a great bike set, Pirelli and Öhlins have supported us very well and we all pulled together in the right direction. We wanted to fight for the front positions, but I could not have imagined that we would be able to take both the pole position and the victory. This was a very good rehearsal for the next year, even if we have to continue working on ourselves.“
Werner Daemen | Team Manager Van Zon-Remeha-BMW:
„This was a more than successful rollout. Markus did a great job and impressed us with his lap times. The team worked excellently and tactfully clever. Of course, we still have a lot of work to do – we still have to learn a lot – but we can be very satisfied with this result. This is a great basis for our STK1000 project in 2018.“