Reiti is the champion in Asia!
Munich. The 2023 season in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship doesn’t conclude until December, but the champion has already been determined. Markus Reiterberger secured en early title win at the penultimate event of the year in China. In the Spanish Superbike Championship, the season finale took place last weekend in Barcelona, and champion Ivo Lopes wrapped up the year masterfully with another double victory.
In addition, we have plenty of reading material for you. We kick off with a series of interviews conducted with BMW champions of the 2023 season. In the first part: Kenny Foray, Ben Young, Kevin Orgis, and Nelson Major.
Images © twmr_photography / Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team
The topics in this newsletter.
- ARRC: Markus Reiterberger secures early title win.
- Macau Grand Prix: Top four lockout for the BMW M 1000 RR.
- ESBK: Champion Ivo Lopes with double victory at the finale.
- Starting our series of champion interviews.
ARRC: Markus Reiterberger secures early title win.
© twmr_photography / Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team
A Bavarian is the champion in Asia. Markus Reiterberger has secured the early title win in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC). At the fifth of six season events in Zhuhai, China, “Reiti” won both races from pole position on the BMW M 1000 RR of the Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team. With this achievement, he is uncatchable in the championship at the season finale in early December in Thailand.
On the Zhuhai International Circuit, China’s oldest racetrack, Reiterberger once again entered uncharted territory. He used Friday’s practices to familiarise himself with the course, and with the fastest time of the day, he hinted that he was in top form in Zhuhai. In qualifying, Reiterberger set a new track record with his BMW M 1000 RR. In the first race, he secured a controlled victory, and when he also won the second race, he clinched the championship.
© twmr_photography / Onexox BMW TKKR Racing Team
“It was a breathtaking weekend,” summarised Reiterberger. “The Friday practices and Saturday’s qualifying went really well. With the qualifying tyre, I set a new track record. I had a good feeling right away. In the first race, I had a good start and took an early lead. Then I was able to pull away easily and win the race. On Sunday morning, we tried a modification to the bike in warm-up. With that, I was able to improve again and almost matched the speed of the qualifying tyre with used race tyres. In the second race, I got off to a very good start. It was close in the first corner, but I took the lead. I was able to build a small lead, but I had to give everything until the end of the race. In the end, it was enough for a start-finish win and the premature championship title.”
“I am very grateful to my team. They provided me with a very good bike,” continued Reiterberger. “We’ve had a great season so far. I am very happy that we have secured the title and can finish the season in Buriram without pressure. Special thanks also go to my physio Mathias Neugebauer, who prepared me perfectly for the trips to Asia. A big thanks also to my mechanic Wolfgang Kampe, my crew chief Michiel Rietvield, my suspension specialist Mathias Greiff, the entire team at alpha Racing, my friends, family, and all sponsors.”
The season finale will take place on the first weekend of December at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand.
Macau Grand Prix: Top four lockout for the BMW M 1000 RR.
Macau Grand Prix
© Sam Wu
The motorsport world turned its attention to Macau last weekend. As part of the 70th Macau Grand Prix, the 55th edition of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix took place, and the race on the spectacular Guia Circuit street course ended with a top-four lockout for the BMW Racers. Leading the pack was Peter Hickman, who raced his BMW M 1000 RR of FHO Racing BMW Motorrad Team to his fourth Macau victory. Davey Todd (Burrows Engineering / RK Racing) and David Datzer (MTP Racing by ZERO UP Penz 13) secured second and third places on the podium. Hickman’s teammate Josh Brookes completed the success for the BMW M 1000 RR in his Macau debut, finishing fourth.
ESBK: Champion Ivo Lopes with double victory at the finale.
© Kezman Ferreira
Ivo Lopes had already secured his second championship title in the Spanish Superbike Championship (ESBK) prematurely at the penultimate season event in Jerez de la Frontera. At the finale in Barcelona, he masterfully concluded the season with the BMW M 1000 RR of the easyRace BMW Team, securing another double victory.
In the first of the two final races on Saturday, Champion Lopes dominated the proceedings and secured victory with a lead of almost twelve seconds. In the second race on Sunday, the time gaps were slightly closer, yet Lopes crossed the finish line again as the first, over two seconds ahead of his closest rival.
© Kezman Ferreira
“It was once again a great weekend,” he said. “Everything was perfect in the race on Saturday: the team, the bike, the equipment, the tyres, and even the track were perfect. We set an impressive pace. For the second race, we tried something new, and although it didn’t go as well, we won the race. That is always important to gather data.”
Of the 14 races held in this ESBK season, Lopes won no fewer than nine. Additionally, he secured three second-places and one third place. “I just have to thank everyone,” said Lopes. "Our team manager Eduardo Salvador, who always believed in me and our work; the team, the mechanics, Dunlop, and everyone who supports me. Thank you!”
Interview Kenny Foray: With winning streak towards to the third title.
© SV Agency / Stéphane Valembois
2017, 2022 and now 2023: Kenny Foray has been crowned champion in the French Superbike Championship (FSBK) for the third time this season. After the season opener at Le Mans didn’t quite go according to plan with seventh and sixth places, Foray then started an impressive comeback on his Tecmas Racing Team BMW M 1000 RR. At round two at Nogaro, he claimed his first podium of the season. That was followed by a stunning winning streak of seven victories in eight races. Foray therefore arrived at the Le Castellet season finale as the championship leader, securing the title with P2 in the penultimate race of the season. With the job done, he finished the final race in style. The old and new champion Foray rounded off the season with his eighth win of the year. Let’s talk to him about this great season.
Interview Ben Young: Strong comeback to clinch the title again.
© Damian Pereira
When the 2023 season in the Canadian Superbike Championship (CSBK) kicked off in May at Shannonville, BMW racer Ben Young lined up on his Van Dolder’s Home Team BMW M 1000 RR as the defending champion. When the season ended in September, also at Shannonville, Young was crowned champion again, celebrating his third title win in the series. In between, there has been an exciting season with some setbacks but most of all a fantastic comeback. At one point, Young was trailing in the championship by 36 points, but he mounted a comeback with his BMW M 1000 RR, winning five consecutive races. Two of those victories came in the first two races of the Shannonville finale. That was sufficient to secure the title before the final race of the year. Furthermore, Young, along with fellow BMW rider Sam Guerin and others, secured the manufacturer’s title for BMW. In an interview, we talk to Young about this stunning year.
Interview Kevin Orgis: He came, he saw, he was crowned champion.
From debutant to champion is the feat that BMW racer Kevin Orgis achieved this season. After several years in the Spanish championship, he returned to his native Germany for the 2023 season and raced for his own team, ORM, in the Pro Superstock 1000 Cup, which is held as part of the International German Motorcycle Championship (IDM). The fact that the BMW M 1000 RR and the series were both new to him appeared to be no problem at all for Orgis. Over the course of the season’s ten races, he picked up maximum points for victory on five occasions. Only once did he miss out on the podium, finishing fifth. The reward for his efforts: the title, which he wrapped up at the finale in Hockenheim. We spoke to Orgis about this season and his plans for the future.
Interview Nelson Major: Champion on the first attempt.
© Stéphane Valembois / SV Agency
The 2023 season was the first one for Nelson Major on the BMW S 1000 RR and with the Tecmas Racing Team in the French European Bikes Championship (FR EU). It could not have gone better than it did, with an early title win. The year started with a victory in the opening race at Le Mans, followed by an impressive series of more wins and podiums. That allowed Major to build such an advantage in the championship that he secured the championship crown already at the penultimate round of the season at Carole. In the 14 races held this season, champion Major claimed seven wins and five further podium finishes. Only on two occasions, did he not step onto the podium. Let’s hear from him about this great season.