24H SPA EWC Motos: ready for the home race in the Ardennes.
Spa-Francorchamps. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team has been looking forward to the 24H SPA EWC Motos at Spa-Francorchamps for some time. The home race for the squad led by Team Manager Werner Daemen in the FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC) will take place this coming weekend (2nd to 5th June). Markus Reiterberger, Ilya Mikhalchik and Jérémy Guarnoni will once again be in action during the race on the #37 BMW M 1000 RR, with Kenny Foray completing the team as the fourth rider.
Ilya Mikhalchik at Le Mans
The 24H SPA EWC Motos represents the return of endurance racing to Spa-Francorchamps after two decades away. The 24-hour race in the Ardennes region of Belgium is the second event of the season in the FIM EWC 2022. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team was also among the favourites at the opening race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in mid-April. However, the team was forced to retire after a stone pierced the radiator, causing engine damage.
The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team has prepared for the 24-hour race with successful testing at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps that saw Reiterberger setting new lap records on the #37 BMW M 1000 RR. Further private training sessions on Tuesday will be followed by free practice and qualifying on Thursday and Friday. The 24-hour race starts on Saturday 4th June at 13:00. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team will be joined by the Team LRP Poland privateers with the #90 BMW S 1000 RR.
Quotes ahead of the 24H SPA EWC Motos.
#37 BMW M 1000 RR
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “The 24-hour race at Spa is a real highlight on the calendar. It is fantastic that endurance motorbike racing is returning to this unique circuit. We are already really looking forward to the special atmosphere there – it’s going to be a real celebration of motor racing. We are over the disappointment of Le Mans and are now all set for the 24 Hours of Spa. We have seen that the team, the riders and the #37 BMW M 1000 RR provide us with a really strong overall package. It will be an exciting race and we hope that everything goes well and that we can celebrate a great success with the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team on Sunday afternoon.”
Werner Daemen, Team Manager BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team: “In all aspects, we prepared intensively for the race at Spa. I think we are very well prepared. The mechanics did an incredible job of fine-tuning the bike based on the feedback the riders gave at the Spa test. The tyres are working really well, the suspension is good, the bike is good, the riders are in top form and all of them won or have been on the podium in the most recent races in national championships. So for me, everything looks got. But okay, we speak about Spa. The weather is never going to be like at the test, that is something like winning the lottery but I think that we are prepared for all circumstances.”
Markus Reiterberger: “The great testing that we had at Spa has provided plenty of motivation. We posted the best laps and also produced the best racing pace. We were also able to work well with the tyres and found a good package that suits us. Now it’s about improving a few minor things on the bike. Spa is a cracking circuit and I am really looking forward to the race. However, 24 hours is a long time and it will be tough, particularly on this circuit. It’s quite tense during the night as it gets relatively dark but that is a challenge we are looking forward to. I hope that we will definitely be battling for the podium, if not for the win. That is our objective.”
Ilya Mikhalchik: “My preparation for Spa was really good and it was completely different compared to the time before Le Mans. In the three weeks before Le Mans, I had three race weekends in a row and when I came to the 24-hour race, my inner battery had a charge level of maybe 60 per cent. I did not have many days to recover and jumped from bike to bike and that for sure caused some stress. Despite that I was still in a good form and now, I took one and a half weeks off from riding and focused on my body, on my nutrition, on the vitamins, I was running and prepared and now I feel like that my battery is over 100 per cent. It is a really good feeling and I am ready to push. I am for sure looking forward to returning to Spa after the test and riding this beautiful bike again on this beautiful track. Let’s hope that we have more luck than at Le Mans and that we claim a strong result.”
Jérémy Guarnoni: “We are really excited to do this race. For the entire team and also for me it will be the most exciting race we are going to have because it has been a long time since there was a race at Spa. At the test we did there, we could see that the potential of the BMW M 1000 RR is really good so I am quite confident for this race and then we will see. We know that a 24-hour race is really long and we will also see how it will be in the night because we never tested there at night and there is not so much light. Overall, I am really confident and I am looking forward to get the victory, especially as it is the home race for the team.”
Kenny Foray: “I am really looking forward to Spa because the track is just incredible. If I can help my team I will be really happy. The bike is really fast and my teammates’ pace too so I hope the best for us.”