Success At Oschersleben For BMW Motorrad Motorsport
BMW Motorrad Motorsports two teams recorded superb results in the fourth round of the 2007 QMMF Endurance World Championship at Oschersleben at the weekend, finishing fifth and ninth overall on the modified R 1200 S sports boxer, as well as first and second in their class.
During the 24-hour marathon at the 3.667-kilometre circuit, both bikes hardly skipped a beat on their way to their best results of the year so far. The number 17 R 1200 S ridden by regulars Thomas Hinterreiter, Rico Penzkofer and Marcus Barth finished fifth overall and won the Open Class outright – with only a minor problem during 873 tortuous laps – while the number 71 bike ridden by Richard Cooper, Peter Ottl and Jose-Luis Nion went from the start of the race to the finish without any problems whatsoever.
Although drizzle and damp conditions greeted the riders at the start on Saturday, the weather soon improved for the rest of the 24-hour world championship race, which was won by the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team of Vincent Philippe, Matthieu Lagrive and Julien da Costa. "That was a perfect race for us and I must say that I am a bit surprised by the result," said Hinterreiter. "I didnt expect such a good result – especially when you consider that we were fighting against riders from the world championship. So to get fifth overall against such high-level teams is a fantastic result for us. In the Open Class, I sort of expected us to win – if we had no problems – but fifth overall in the race is amazing!"
Team-mate Rico Penzkofer was just as delighted at such a great result in only the second world championship race that the team has contested: "Before the race, I never believed such a result would be possible and Im almost speechless, as I thought tenth place would be good! Our overall performance on both our bikes is more important than any one result this weekend and I want to say thank you to all the mechanics and everybody concerned for doing such a great job. This track is quite technical and physically demanding, but the R 1200 S was easy to ride and I really enjoyed myself out there."
This was a view shared by third team member Marcus Barth: "Im surprised about how good our result is, though secretly I thought a top five could be possible if it rained, but to get a fifth place in the dry is great! Ive ridden many endurance races at this track before, but riding the BMW has been the least difficult and the most fun of them all, as it changes direction so well. Its a very good package and I found it easy following the top guys and keeping up with them."
Contributing to a great weekend of race success for BMW Motorrad Motorsport was a second team consisting of Richard Cooper, Peter Ottl and Jose-Luis Nion, who finished ninth overall in the race, and second in the Open Class behind their team-mates. "Im very happy because all I had expected was a good top 15 finish, so to end up ninth in a world championship event is fantastic" said British rider Cooper, who was competing in his first 24-hour race. "This track doesnt give you much time to rest, but the bike is easy to ride and I didnt find it tiring at all – in fact, its surprising what you can do with it! The team has been perfect to work with and they made my job so much easier."
Veteran racer Peter Ottl was tired but very happy at the teams excellent result at Oschersleben: "I had a feeling that we would get a good result if there were no problems, and thats the way it worked out. I was very confident in the whole team and their experience this year was so valuable this weekend. At the end of the race, our bike was running just like it was at the start. Its an easy bike to ride and thats important in endurance racing. It has been a pleasure working with all these BMW guys and I hope to do it again!"
Spanish rider Jose-Luis Nion was also delighted to share in the teams success at the German circuit: "I am very happy with our result and its been great working with the team. I was a bit nervous at the start, but after a while I began to relax and then started to enjoy myself. I managed a good rhythm in the night and had no problems throughout the race at all. I didnt think wed finish as high as we did and Im happy that we got such a great result."
BMW Motorrad Motorsport Team Manager Berti Hauser had the final say on what has been a fantastic weekend at Oschersleben: "I am absolutely delighted for the whole team. Theyve worked so hard since Barcelona and their will to get a good result has been so strong. To get fifth and ninth overall competing against the best teams and riders in the World Endurance Championship is a fantastic achievement and to get first and second in our class is also pretty special. These results are better then we dreamed about and its all down to the way we worked together as a team – and Im talking about both bikes."
"Everybody here pushed hard to get the best possible result for BMW Motorrad and I feel proud to be part of this team. Bike number 71 ran like a Swiss clock throughout, while bike number 17 had a minor problem with the rear drive. Thomas (Hinterreiter) heard a noise coming from the rear end, so we changed the rear drive just as a precaution. The mechanics did a superb job, worked very quickly and we were back on the track without losing any places! Overall, its been a fantastic weekend and I can say no more!"
Oschersleben results :
1. Suzuki Endurance Racing – 905 laps
2. Kawasaki France – 893 laps
3. Yamaha Austria – 885 laps
4. Bolliger Switzerland – 878 laps
5. BMW Motorrad Motorsport (Hinterreiter, Penzkofer, Barth) – 873 laps
6. Raffin Motos – 871 laps
7. Diablo 666 Bolliger – 870 laps
8. Jadoul Motosport – 868 laps
9. BMW Motorrad Motorsport (Cooper, Ottl, Nion) – 868 laps
10. Endurance Moto 38 – 866 laps