FIM EWC: New lap record and both poles at the Bol d’Or!
Le Castellet. BMW Motorrad Motorsport had the perfect start to the season finale of the 2023 FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC) at Le Castellet. In the extremely exciting two-part qualifying for the 24-hour Bol d’Or race, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team secured pole position with the #37 BMW M 1000 RR, setting a new lap record. This marked an important first step for the team with riders Markus Reiterberger, Ilya Mikhalchik, and Jérémy Guarnoni in their quest for the championship title. In the Superstock class, the Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team will start from pole position with the #9 BMW M 1000 RR. This team also has a chance at the title in its category.
The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team arrived at Le Castellet as third in the overall standings, 38 points behind the leaders. Accordingly, their first goal was to secure pole position, as it not only provides the best starting position for the race but also earns an additional five points. In the two-part qualification held on Thursday and Friday, they achieved this with the best average time from the individual sessions. The team’s fastest lap times were set by Reiterberger (1:51.596 minutes) and Mikhalchik (1:51.721 minutes) in the second part of qualifying on Friday morning.
In the Superstock class, the Tecmas-MRP-Racing Team entered the finale as fourth overall with a 16-point deficit. In the qualifying session, Kenny Foray was the team’s fastest rider, ensuring that the #9 BMW M 1000 RR was unbeatable.
The 86th edition of the Bol d’Or will kick off on Saturday, September 16th, at 15:00. The number of points awarded in the race will by multiplied by a factor of 1.5. This means that the winning team will receive 60 points, and there will be 49.5 points for second place and 42 points for third place. In addition, further points will be awarded to the best teams in the interim standings after eight and 16 hours.
Quotes after qualifying.
Markus Reiterberger (#37 BMW M 1000 RR, BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team): “Already yesterday, my lap time was very good. I did that alone and today I tried to find the slipstream and that helped me to get another few tenths. I want to say thank you to the team. Our bike is incredibly fast and I think we are ready for the race. Our plan for the 24-hour race is to go full attack. Our goal was to get pole position and to win the race. This is what we have to do to have a chance for the title.”
Werner Daemen, Team Manager BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team: “It has been our plan to get pole position as we are pretty far behind the two teams in front of us in the standings, so the only chance to keep the championship open for us was to take pole position and to get as many points as possible after eight hours, 16 hours and 24 hours. In our position we must give everything and maybe also risk a little bit more than the other guys to try to win. The two teams in front of us can try to manage the points more. But as we know from last year, it is a long race here, not only for the riders but also for the bikes. A lot can happen. We will see on Sunday at 15:00 o’clock if we are all there and I hope that we will be on the highest step of the podium and then we will see what the others do.”
Kenny Foray (#9 BMW M 1000 RR, Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team): “I think that we have the same target as the #37 BMW M 1000 RR; we just need to win to take the title. It is a 24-hour race and it’s really long. But the only objective is to win the race.”