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Victory and podiums for the BMW M 1000 RR in WorldSBK and FIM EWC: Successful Super Weekend for BMW Motorrad Motorsport at Assen and Le Mans.

Two World Championship events with the BMW M 1000 RR in one weekend – and much celebration at BMW Motorrad Motorsport. At the third round of the 2024 WorldSBK at Assen, Toprak Razgatlioglu and the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team celebrated a sensational victory in the second main race on Sunday after finishing second on Saturday. In the FIM EWC, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team started the 2024 season with a second-place finish at Le Mans.

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FIM EWC
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Superbike Championship
 

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Dominic Thoennes
BMW Group

Assen / Le Mans. Two World Championship events with the BMW M 1000 RR in one weekend – and much celebration at BMW Motorrad Motorsport on a truly ‘Super Weekend’. At the third round of the 2024 FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) at Assen (NED), Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR) and the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team celebrated a sensational victory in the second main race on Sunday after finishing second on Saturday. In the FIM Endurance World Championship, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team started the 2024 season with a second-place finish at the Le Mans (FRA) 24 Heures Motos.

 

WorldSBK at Assen.

At the WorldSBK event at Assen, Razgatlioglu was on course for victory in the first main race on Saturday. In extremely changeable conditions, starting from third place, he was on his way to taking the lead when the race was red-flagged, thus finishing second on the podium. A challenging Superpole race on Sunday morning didn’t deter him. Razgatlioglu finished ninth and had to start the second race in the afternoon from that position. However, ‘El Turco’ charged through the field and took the lead for the first time on the eighth lap. In the final stages, he secured the top spot definitively, thus earning Razgatlioglu his third victory with the BMW M 1000 RR following the successes at Barcelona (ESP). After Assen, he is in second place in the championship standings.

 

Razgatlioglu’s teammate Michael van der Mark (NED) also fought for podium positions at his Assen home race. Starting from 13th place, he finished seventh in the shortened first race. In the Superpole race, he was the best BMW rider, finishing eighth. In the second main race, van der Mark was among the contenders in the leading group before finishing sixth. Due to a penalty, he was classified as ninth. In the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team, Scott Redding (GBR) secured two top-ten finishes, eighth in race one and tenth in the Superpole race. The best result for his teammate Garrett Gerloff (USA) was eleventh place in the Superpole race, followed by twelfth place in race two.

 

FIM EWC at Le Mans.

The famous 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans marked the opening round of the 2024 FIM EWC. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, led by Team Manager Werner Daemen (BEL), made a strong start to the new season with the #37 BMW M 1000 RR. The three regular riders, Markus Reiterberger (GER), Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR), and Sylvain Guintoli (FRA), secured second place on the podium. The trio started the twice-around-the-clock marathon from fifth place. With flawless performances from the riders and the team’s excellent work in the pit, the #37 quickly climbed into the podium positions and was already in second place on Saturday after a few hours of racing. The team maintained this position until the finish on Sunday afternoon.

 

In the FIM EWC Superstock class, the Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team fought for its second Le Mans victory with the #9 BMW M 1000 RR. Starting from second place in class, Kenny Foray (FRA), Jan Bühn (GER), Loïc Arbel (FRA), and Hannes Soomer (EST) were temporarily in the lead. After a crash during the night, they worked their way back up to fourth place in class, however due to a technical issue, the #9 bike retired prematurely.

 

Reactions after the race weekend.

 

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “I am extremely satisfied – it has been a superb weekend. Of course, I could only partly follow Le Mans from Assen, but I watched it until 1 a.m. on Saturday night and from 6 a.m. on Sunday morning. It’s great that the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team secured P2 there. We were also a bit lucky with issues at other teams, but that’s also part of a 24-hour race. After finishing third last year and second this year, you can imagine what the goal is for next year. It has been a great start to the FIM EWC 2024.

 

Here at Assen, it was my home race and a mega event for me personally. The many fans, including the many Turkish fans, created a fantastic atmosphere. On Saturday, we were disappointed not to have a win in the first main race because we were very close but it showed that we have the pace to make it. The Superpole Race was slightly disappointing; all four BMWs had tyre issues, resulting in positions eight to eleven, but we made up for it in the second main race. It was a great fight at the front with seven or eight bikes within a second, and Toprak and Mickey right in the middle of it. In the end, we celebrated another victory with Toprak and are now also in the top group of the championship. Mickey’s sixth place was strong too, even though he was unfortunately moved back. We saw that the bike has the performance, not only with Toprak, even though he squeezes out that extra bit. We take these positive boosts with us.”

 

Toprak Razgatlioglu, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 3 / R01: 2 / SP Race: 9 / R02: 1): “I am very happy. We did a very good job this weekend, especially in race two. It was not easy to take the win but in every lap I pushed hard. Everyone was working so hard this weekend and we finally won in race two. It was my first victory at Assen in the Superbike class, and also the first win here for BMW so I am very happy. It was not really important that I started from P9 because if you are really fast this is not a problem. The only problem was that after the first corner, Alex Lowes almost crashed and I closed the gas. After that, I tried to pass all the riders step by step. I felt confident and especially after ten laps I had very good pace. When the rain came, I just closed the gas because I did not want to take a risk. I just followed Alvaro Bautista who is more experienced than me. Then I started to push again. I wanted to win this weekend and I did.”

 

Michael van der Mark, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 13 / R01: 7 / SP Race: 8 / R02: 9): “I think we should be quite happy with the results this weekend. This morning in the Superpole race, the goal was to be in the top nine and we managed to do it so we had a better start position for race two. I then had a good start and gained some places straight away. I had good pace and the top group was just in front of me. At some point it started raining again in the middle sector. We had some really nice battles and it was great to fight with the guys in front. I struggled a bit at the end of the race with the riding style and fell back a bit into my old habit. I tried to push too hard to follow the guys. Then at the end I got a time penalty. It was a shame to lose P6 but it is what it is. If you look back on the weekend we showed that we are strong. It was also fantastic to see Toprak taking another win today so I am pretty sure that soon we will have two BMWs on the podium.”

 

Scott Redding, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 15 / R01: 8 / SP Race: 10 / R02: DNF): “The warm up was very cold, but the Superpole Race was pretty good. I managed to find a better feeling again from yesterday which was the goal. It was a lot to play for with the tyres. Everyone went more or less with the same tyre, but it was dropping a lot. We could see that with the lap times and the performance of everyone but I actually felt quite good. The changes we made from yesterday to today were positive so going into race two I had a bit more confidence. I felt ready for the race. My start was ok, but I was stuck a little bit with two guys, struggling to pass them but then while braking into the last corner I lost the front, which I was a bit upset about because I felt I had good pace today for another top-ten or maybe even more. I’m just upset with that. I want to apologize to the team, they’ve been great. We’ll come back for Misano and try again.”

 

Garrett Gerloff, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 17 / R01: 16 / SP Race: 11 / R02: 12): “Today was better than yesterday. It was nice to just be higher up the order but I’m still so far back it’s getting frustrating. I’m trying different solutions to the things we’re struggling with, but it hasn’t been very clear. I’m pushing but it’s not coming yet. We just have to keep working and see if we can make some improvements for the next race.”

 

Werner Daemen, Team Manager BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team: “I am very proud that we finished in second place. All three riders made a tremendous job. Nobody crashed, we had some difficulties in the night when it was very cold but all three riders coped with the conditions and I am very proud of them. They went for it over the entire week, worked together well and we had a very good atmosphere in the team. We showed that we are a strong team and I think that the second place is just the start of a fantastic season. I am hundred percent sure that we can fight for the victory in Spa, Suzuka and Le Castellet.”

 

Sylvain Guintoli, BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team (2nd place 24 Heures Motos): “It was a good weekend. In the end we finished second and we have to be happy with that. We’ve learned a lot and it has been my first experience with the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team with Markus and Ilya. It has been a good experience. It’s a bit of a shame that we didn’t win because we wanted to bring it home but I’m sure that all the experience gained during this weekend and this race, which was pretty tough, will help us to get better in the future. It’s a good base to build on for the rest of the season.”

 

Markus Reiterberger, BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team (2nd place 24 Heures Motos): “We are very satisfied with the second place. Of course, we would have liked to win, but in such a tough, long race, with so much happening, so many crashes and mistakes, we did quite well. We had good pace, and especially at night, we were very fast when it was really cold. It was a real challenge due to the cold and tricky conditions. Thanks to the team and my teammates who gave it their all. I believe we have shown that we can be contenders in the World Championship. We also know where we need to make adjustments to get even better. Overall, it was a successful weekend with the second place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

 

Ilya Mikhalchik, BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team (2nd place Heures Motos): “I am really happy about the result. It has been a very difficult race, especially in the night stints when it was almost zero degrees outside. It was a bit cold to ride the bike and the conditions were tricky but even then our bike performances really well, the tyres were working well and everything was okay. We were fighting for the podium places and in the end we got P2 so for sure we are happy. Thanks to the entire crew who worked through all the night and especially thanks to my team-mates who were really fast and did their best in all the stints, no matter what the conditions were.”

 

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