FIM EWC: Fight for the Bol d'Or podium finds a premature end.
Le Castellet. After stepping onto the podium in the previous two races of the 2021 FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC), the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team was fighting for positions at the very top again at the Bol d’Or at Le Castellet. But the 24-hour race came to a premature end for the squad. During the night, the team had to retire due to a technical issue. Markus Reiterberger, Ilya Mikhalchik and Kenny Foray had shared duties in the saddle of the #37 BMW M 1000 RR.
After seven and a half hours of racing, the team was running in fourth position when Mikhalchik had issues with the power train and had to bring the bike back to the garage. Team Manager Werner Daemen’s squad tried everything to continue the race but then had to make the decision to retire. The cause of the issue will now be analysed in detail.
Privateer BMW Team LRP Poland was lying in 18th overall and in sixth position in the EWC class with the #90 BMW S 1000 RR after 21 hours of racing. Tecmas BMW (#9 BMW S 1000 RR) had to retire after a crash.
The 84th edition of the Bol d’Or was the third round of the FIM EWC 2021 season. The final round, the 8-hour race at Most in the Czech Republic, will be held on 9th October.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “This obviously is a hard setback for us, also in regards of the title fight in the world championship. Another podium finish with a lot of championship points would have been possible in this 24-hour race but endurance racing once more proved that a lot can happen. Several top teams have run into issues in this very hard race, and unfortunately we have been one of them. We will now analyse in detail to find the exact cause of the issue. I want to thank the entire team and the riders for their very hard work before and at the race weekend. Now we are looking forward to the finale at Most. There, we want to attack again and fight at the very top.”
Werner Daemen, Team Manager BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team: “It’s very sad, for the riders and our entire team who all worked so hard, but it can happen. We will leave that behind us and our full focus is now on the next round at Most.”
Markus Reiterberger: “We of course are all very disappointed. The team tried everything to bring us back on track but unfortunately we had to retire. It is very sad that the Le Castellet weekend ended that way. But we will not get disheartened. Now, we will prepare for Most where we will come back in full strength.”
Ilya Mikhalchik: “We did a good job during this week. We have again being always on top. In the race, we were running in P4, just ten seconds behind P3. Our pace was very strong, like the leading pace. Then we unfortunately suffered the technical issue. But okay, it is endurance, and it’s a technical sport. Let’s forget this situation, focus on the next one and prove that this team is capable of winning.”
Kenny Foray: “For sure, it is very sad for us. I had high hopes in the race, but it is like it is. We gave our very best but this time it was not meant to be. It is difficult to find the words to explain what I feel. It is not easy, but this is racing and sometimes you win or are on the podium and sometimes you don’t finish.”