The alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW Team did it again! Ilya Mikhalchik secured the German championship title of 2019 today in the cathedral of motorcycle racing, the TT Circuit Assen, Netherlands. The young Ukrainian rode to victory two times on the Sunday and secured the team around Team Manager Werner Daemen the second IDM-title in a row. It is the fifth German title in seven years for the Belgian squad.
Nevertheless it was a patchy weekend for the alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW Team. Whilst Mikhalchik was leading every session and won both races, Julian Puffe was fighting with technical problems on the other side of the box and had to deal with a heavy crash during the first free practice. But the 23-years-old from Schleiz, Germany, collected important championship points this weekend and will arrive to the season finale in second position overall at Hockenheimring in three weeks time.
llya Mikhalchik, #1: „The whole weekend was perfect, as we were first in all sessions and I won both races. It was not really easy, but also not impossible. The points were really important for me and I am really happy, that I achieved the first ever title for this new BMW bike. To win the title before the end of the season is not bad either. We really worked hard this whole year and won more races than last year already and we still have two races to go until the end of the season. It is nice I can ride them more relaxed now and I am looking forward to the end of the season at the Hockenheimring.“
Julian Puffe, #19: „Once again this was not my weekend. I had a heavy highside-crash in lap five of the first free practice on Friday. It was my mistake and I destroyed the whole weekend for myself. Nothing was possible anymore on that Friday after the crash. The bike was destroyed and my team had to build me a new one. They did a fantastic job. The qualifying sessions were also not ideal because of the mixed weather conditions. It was partly dry and partly wet and I was not able to improve until the end. I finished in 16th position. The second qualifying we had to sit out as it was raining. The first race was difficult as we haven’t had collected any data from the dry. But I was able to finish from 16th to position eight. That was quite okay. The first laps of the second race felt good. But then I had to fight with technical problems again. At the end I was able to secure the ninth place and some points for the championship, but it was not a good weekend for me in general.“
Werner Daemen, Team Manager: „Of course I am a happy and proud team manager. It was again a long year and a long fight. The bike is completely new, we did not know what to expect. But we made it and brought a new bike to the top. This shows that we did a good job. Not only Ilya did a top job again, but the whole team did. Julian had to fight with some problems here. Two races ago he was leading the championship. Also he did a good job and next year also he will attack again in the championship. I want to thank all our sponsors and supporters that they made it possible for us to achieve all this.“
Pictures: ©Dino Eisele