Suzuki. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team impressed with a strong performance in its first appearance at the famous Suzuka 8 Hours (JPN), but went unrewarded. In the first half of the race, Markus Reiterberger (GER), Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR) and Jérémy Guarnoni (FRA) in the #37 BMW M 1000 RR battled for a very good result but after nearly four hours, a technical failure forced the team to withdraw from the race for safety reasons. Suzuka was the third round of the 2022 FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC) season.
Until the retirement, the race week at Suzuka had gone well for the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team. Team manager Werner Daemen’s crew, competing in the iconic race for the first time, held their own as the only factory team from a European manufacturer in the front runners of many Japanese teams. In the combined results of Friday’s qualifying sessions, the team finished in sixth place to secure one of the coveted spots in Saturday’s top ten qualifiers. During this session, in which the first ten places on the grid were awarded, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team concentrated on preparing for the race and qualified in ninth place on the grid. departure.
As on previous days, high temperatures and high humidity made the race a physical challenge for riders and teams, but starters Mikhalchik, Reiterberger and Guarnoni delivered a flawless performance. The team’s efforts in the pit stops were also flawless, and the strategy was good which allowed the team to set the target of a top five or six, which would have been a very good result for a European team at Suzuka. However, after nearly four hours, Mikhalchik first rolled to the side of the track before he could push the bike a bit and then return to the pits. Due to engine failure in the cooling system area, the team had to abandon the race.
BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team is now focusing on the season finale of the FIM EWC 2022, the Bol d’Or 24-hour race in Le Castellet (FRA) from September 15-18.
Quotes after the Suzuka 8 Hours.
Werner Daemen, BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team Manager:
“It’s hard to express how disappointed I am. The whole team, especially the riders, did a really good job. It wasn’t easy for us here because we had never been there and never tested here before. We entered the top 10 in qualifying and performed very well in difficult conditions throughout these days. In the race we had a very good start. Ilya recovered from the start fifth and he, Markus and Jérémy raced well for the first few hours. But then we encountered this technical failure and I hope we can find the cause very soon with BMW so that it doesn’t happen again.”
Marcus Reiterberger: “We started the race well. Ilya got off to a great start, I was able to continue with a good stint. We have always been in the top 5 and the top 8 so we have set ourselves the goal of finishing between the first 5 and 7 places. It would have been realistic, we could have gotten a solid result. It was a shame to then have the technical problem. The team and us riders have worked so hard for this race and now have to go home empty handed. It was really frustrating. Thanks to the team for the great commitment and effort.
Ilya Mikhalchik: “Of course it’s quite frustrating to finish the race this way. We were in quite a good position and it was possible to finish with a very good result. But then we had the technical problem. It’s like that, and for sure it’s good to have collected some more data and we still made steps on the bike for the next races. We will fight again. In general, it was good to see the progress on the bike over the weekend, having not tested here before and also the Dunlop tires worked well and we were always in the top ten and did lap times like the guys with d “Other tyres. It gives us confidence. We will now put the disappointment behind us and focus on the next one.
Jeremy Guarnoni: “I am really disappointed with this result. We did a very good job all week with a big effort from the team and the drivers and I think we really did everything perfectly over the weekend. During the race we then had a technical problem which is not under the control of the team. We hope that this problem can be solved for the next races and that we can fight at the 24 hours of the Bol d’Or. I think we can fight for victory there. So a big thank you to the team, all the mechanics, the team management and the drivers, because we had a great weekend here.