Markus Reiterberger: Asia champion from Bavaria.


Munich. Markus Reiterberger has added another title to his collection in the 2023 season. “Reiti” has been champion four times in the International German Motorcycle Championship (IDM), he became European champion in the FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship, and now he is also champion in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship. Reiterberger started in the series at the beginning of the 2020 season, but then the coronavirus pandemic disrupted all plans. In 2023, he returned to Asia and competed again with the Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team. The fact that some of the tracks were new to him posed no problems for Reiterberger. He collected wins, podium finishes, and lap records race after race, and so was already crowned champion at the penultimate season event in Zhuhai, China. At the finale in Buriram, Thailand, he addes more success. Overall, Reiterberger claimed seven races and two second place finishes in the twelve races of the season. In the interview, we talk to him about the season in Asia.

Images © twmr_photography / Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team

Markus Reiterberger

© twmr_photography / Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team

Markus, congratulations on another championship title, this season in the ARRC. You started the season as a favourite, but was it easy to live up to this role?

Markus Reiterberger: “I have to admit that it wasn’t easy at first. Because at the season opener at Buriram, things didn’t go so smoothly. We weren’t ready with the setup yet, we didn’t know which direction to go in terms of air pressure, and I only finished fourth and sixth. So I didn’t quite live up to my hopes. But fortunately, the tables turned, and from the second event onwards, we were the favourites.”

You already competed in the series with the Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team at the beginning of 2020, and after the coronavirus pandemic, you returned there. How quickly were you and the team able to gel together?

Reiterberger: “That went relatively quickly. We only needed one event for that, and after the first race weekend at Buriram, we were perfectly coordinated. We immediately sorted out where we still had problems after the season opener. But overall, the first reunion was also easy because I had already had contact with the team and we had already completed a race weekend together in 2020. In addition, there is the connection to alpha Racing and the familiar people who were also there in Asia. That was also very important so that everything quickly fell into place.”

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Markus Reiterberger & Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team

© twmr_photography / Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Tea

Your teammate Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman was also successful this season and often stood on the podium with you. How do you get along?

Reiterberger: “We get along great. Azlan is a great guy and an experienced racer. Like everyone on the team, he has a very nice way about him, and he is very helpful. So he showed me new tracks, like at Sugo, and I think we complemented each other very well.”

Does racing in Asia differ from racing in Europe?

Reiterberger: “Yes, definitely. On the one hand, we mostly race on MotoGP tracks there, and it’s very hot. Usually, tropical weather prevails. And what also comes into play for me, but fortunately doesn’t cause me any problems, are jet lag and long journeys. For the Asian riders, the journey is comparable to when I travel to the IDM, they have no major time differences and no long journeys. I usually arrive on Thursday, then have a day to acclimatise a bit, and then we already have a race weekend. These are challenges that I cope with well.”

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Markus Reiterberger

© twmr_photography / Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team

Some of the tracks were completely new to you, which did not stop you from being fast there in a short time. How did you prepare for the new tracks?

Reiterberger: “Mostly onboard videos helped me, which I watched intensively from each track, especially videos from other BMW riders, because then you already know the revs, the gears, etc. That helped me a lot, especially for Sugo. For Mandalika, I watched videos from MotoGP and the Superbike World Championship. In addition, there were the classic track walks, the analysis of the data that the team already had, and the good basic setup of the bike. All of that contributed.”

Which track in Asia do you like the most?

Reiterberger: “I would say Sepang in Malaysia. It’s just a great racetrack. Mandalika in Indonesia has also grown very dear to me.”

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Markus Reiterberger

© twmr_photography / Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team

You have already mentioned the climate, which is initially unfamiliar to Central Europeans with great heat and high humidity. How did you prepare for it?

Reiterberger: “It’s actually just a matter of getting used to it. You can’t really train for it. But I’ve done it many times now and always coped well. And I just have a bike and a team that I can trust. If you are sure that the basics and everything around are right, you can also handle challenges like the climate well.”

Which event, which race was your highlight of the season in the ARRC?

Reiterberger: “There were many highlights and exciting races. But I would highlight Sugo race two against Haruki Noguchi, a very tough and fast rider. Winning the race with a large lead was very good. It was a very sad news for all of us when we learned that Haruki had succumbed to his injuries after his crash in Indonesia. It was an honour to go on the track with him.”

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Markus Reiterberger & BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team

Let’s talk about the endurance race, third place with the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team in the FIM Endurance World Championship. What was your highlight of the season here?

Reiterberger: “The highlight in the FIM EWC for me was that we finished every race, had no problems, and finished on the podium in all three 24-hour races.”

Now winter is beginning, what are your plans for the coming weeks?

Reiterberger: “There are some tests coming up, so my winter break is rather limited. But I’m looking forward to at least a few weeks off that I can spend at home.”

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