One of the first highlights of the year for BMW Motorrad Motorsport was held last weekend in France: the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. At the “Circuit de la Sarthe”, the new BMW S 1000 RR had a successful debut at this endurance classic. In addition, privateer BMW Motorrad riders have been in action in championships all around the globe this weekend. They were on track in several European countries, the US and Japan. With their results, the participants of the 2015 BMW Motorrad Race Trophy also collected important points for the Race Trophy rankings.
FIM Endurance World Championship: 24 Hours of Le Mans, France.
This is without any doubt one of the toughest challenges for man and machine: the “24 Heures Moto”, the legendary 24-hour race at Le Mans (FR). Last weekend, the “Circuit de la Sarthe” hosted the 38th running of the endurance classic as the season opener of the 2015 FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC). For the BMW Motorrad Motorsport community, it brought several successful firsts. It was the Le Mans debut for the new BMW S 1000 RR, which was entered by BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com with the support of the BMW Motorrad Motorsport engineers. For team principal Rico Penzkofer’s (DE) squad it was a debut, too. After successfully competing in the Superstock category of the EWC over the past years, Penz13.com now represents the colours of BMW Motorrad Motorsport and BMW Motorrad France in the highest Superbike class, with Le Mans being its first race in the new category. The team is collaborating in its EWC campaign with the squad of Van-Zon Remeha BMW around Werner Daemen (BE), which is well known from the Superbike*IDM / International German Championship (IDM).
The team and its riders, Markus Reiterberger (DE), Pedro Vallcaneras (ES) and Gareth Jones (AU), who stood in for the injured Bastien Mackels (BE), bravely mastered all challenges presented by the 24 hours. In qualifying, they secured P5 on the grid for the new #13 RR. Despite some setbacks at the beginning, which can even happen to established teams at any time, the trio fought its way back towards the front. Even in the final stages of the race they kept an impressively fast pace. After the long 24 hours, Reiterberger powered the RR over the finish line in a strong seventh overall and fifth in the class.
In 2015, Penz13.com is also still involved in the Superstock class, joining forces with Völpker NRT48 in the Völpker NRT48 & Penz13 by Schubert Motors team. Riders Marco Nekvasil (AT), Steve Mercer (GB) and Hayato Takada (JP) brought the #48 BMW S 1000 RR safely through the 24 hours as well. Eighteen-year old Nekvasil, who was the youngest rider in the entire field, had the honour to do the final stint. He took the chequered flag in 17th overall and seventh in the Superstock class. Another first at Le Mans was the participation of the British BMW team, Prime Factors Racing. The 2014 British endurance champions are competing in their debut season in the Superstock class of the EWC. Riders Stefan Cappella (GB), Gary Mason (GB) and Barry Burrell (GB) finished 20th overall and ninth in class.
FIM World Superbike Championship in Assen, the Netherlands.
Only one week after the Spanish round at “Motorland Aragón”, the engineers from BMW Motorrad Motorsport have been on duty again at the famous “TT Circuit” in Assen (NL) for the fourth round of the 2015 FIM World Superbike Championship (WSBK). After the promising performance in Spain, the BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team and Ayrton Badovini (IT) had high hopes to further improve. In fact, they had reason to be satisfied with the first sessions on Friday and Saturday. From Superpole on they were, however, unable to show the real potential of the BMW S 1000 RR. Badovini started to suffer from severe pain in his left arm, caused by an inflammation. This pain limited his ability to ride on this physically very demanding track. The Italian qualified 14th for the two races. On Sunday, Badovini tried everything to defy the pain. In race one, he improved up to eighth place, but the pain became worse, forcing him to return to the pits and retire. In race two, he attacked again and finished in 12th despite his painful arm. In doing so, he collected a further four championship points. Gabor Rizmayer (HU) from BMW Racing Team Toth finished both races in 18th. His team-mate Imre Toth (HU) retired in both races.
FIM Superstock 1000 Cup in Assen, the Netherlands.
Assen also hosted the second round of the 2015 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup (STK1000). The season opener at “Motorland Aragón” had seen a triumphant win by Roberto Tamburini (IT) on his BMW S 1000 RR. At Assen, the Team MotoxRacing rider, however, suffered some bad luck in a turbulent race. He started third from the front row of the grid, but was involved in a crash which caused a red flag. Despite every effort, Tamburini did not make it to the grid for the re-start and was forced to watch the shortened nine-lap-race as a spectator. Fabio Marchionni (IT) crossed the finish line in 18th on the RR fielded by TR. Corse. Federico D’Annunzio (IT / FDA Racing Team) unfortunately also suffered a bad crash during the race. Eric Vionnet (CH / Team Motos Vionnet) fell during Saturday’s qualifying and did not take part in Sunday’s warm-up and race.
FIM Sidecar World Championship in Le Mans, France.
Back-to-back races also in the FIM Sidecar World Championship (SWC): One week after the 2015 season opener in Donington (GB), the world’s best sidecar crews met at Le Mans in France last weekend. And the Finnish BMW duo of Pekka Päivärinta / Kirsi Kainulainen (44-Racing) left France as the new overall leaders of the world championship rankings. In the Le Mans race, they finished second on the podium for the second time in a row. Uwe Gürck (DE) and Manfred Wechselberger (AT) of Polizei Sport Verein Wels claimed fourth in the fiercely fought race, while Mike Roscher (DE) and Anna Burkard (CH) finished sixth on their Roscher-Burkhard-Penz13 machine.
British Superbike Championship in Brands Hatch, Great Britain.
The “Indy Circuit” of Brands Hatch (GB) hosted the second round of the 2015 British Superbike Championship. The fans of this well-known championship were once more entertained with two exciting races. Riuychi Kiyonari (JP) finished fourth on his Buildbase BMW S 1000 RR on both occasions. With these results, he improved to fourth overall in the championship standings. In race one, Billy McConnell (AU / Smiths Racing BMW) and Michael Laverty (GB / Tyco BMW) finished ninth and 13th respectively to also collect championship points. In race two, Laverty’s team-mate Tommy Bridewell (GB) crossed the line in sixth, while McDonnell was ninth again. Peter Hickman (GB / RAF Reserves BMW) also finished in the points, coming home in 14th.
In the Superstock class of the BSB, Hudson Kennaugh (ZA / TrikMoto BMW) finished third on the podium. Tyco BMW rider Alastair Seeley (GB) crossed the line in fifth and set the fastest lap of the race. Luke Quigley (GB / Formwise Washrooms / Bathams) was seventh, while Dominic Usher (GB) collected the final point, finishing 15th on his DU Racing BMW, directly in front of Rob McNealy (GB / McNealy Brown Ltd.).
MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Superbike Championship in Braselton, US.
One week after the season opener in Austin (US), the new MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Superbike Championship (AMA) held its second round at the iconic “Road Atlanta” circuit in Braselton, Georgia (US). The weather proved to be a real challenge for everyone on this occasion, with races delayed due to heavy rain and flooding. Privateer BMW Motorrad rider Marcel Irnie (CA) defied the bad conditions and finished the two heats of the Superstock 1000 class in tenth and ninth respectively.
MFJ Superbike All Japan Road Race Championship in Suzuka, Japan .
Last weekend, the Superbike season also started in Japan. The first round of the 2015 MFJ Superbike All Japan Road Race Championship (MFJ) was held at Suzuka. BMW Motorrad Motorsport is well represented in this championship with no less than six BMW S 1000 RRs competing in the fiercely fought JSB 1000 class. The best placed BWM rider in the first race of the season was Daisaku Sakai (JP / CONFIA Flex Motorrad 39) in 15th, directly followed by Kohji Teramoto (JP / Team Tras 135HP) in 16th.
2015 BMW Motorrad Race Trophy – Current Standings.
In 2015, the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy comprises a total of 19 international and national championships. Registration is possible until 30th June 2015. Participants in the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy can once again compete in multiple championships in 2015. However, the points scored in the different championships are not added together, but are calculated separately for each individual race series. The current standings only include points from the race series in which the participant has scored the most Race Trophy points. You can find all the information on the 2015 BMW Motorrad Race Trophy, including the regulations and registration form, online at the BMW Motorrad Motorsport website: