Race Trophy: Ben Young is the 2021 winner – The top ten at a glance.
Munich. Ben Young is the 2021 BMW Motorrad Race Trophy champion. Born in Scotland but now living in Canada, he scored more Race Trophy points in his races in the Canadian Superbike Championship (CSBK) than any other competitor. Young was rewarded for his success with a spectacular main prize, a new BMW M 1000 RR. Second place went to Italy’s Roberto Tamburini, followed in third place by Frenchman Alexandre Leleu. We take a closer look at the top ten riders in the 2021 Race Trophy and their successes.
Since 2014, BMW Motorrad Motorsport has brought private BMW racers from different international and national championships around the world under one roof in a unique competition – the Race Trophy. In 2021, a new scoring system was introduced with the ‘winning percentage’. The Race Trophy points correspond to the percentage of the points that the competitors have scored in their respective championship in relation to the maximum number of points possible in the racing series.
As well as the main prize for the winner, the BMW M 1000 RR, the riders in positions two to ten also received valuable vouchers for BMW Motorrad parts packages, which can be redeemed at BMW Motorrad Motorsport Official Partner, alpha Racing. The total value of the vouchers amounts to € 40,000.
1st place: Ben Young.
Young emerged triumphant from a close battle to win the 2021 Race Trophy. He finished on the podium in all seven races of the 2021 CSBK season. One victory, five second-places and one third took him to a total of 84.86 Race Trophy points and saw him narrowly defeat runner-up Tamburini by just 0.86 points.
The 28-year-old has been riding a BMW S 1000 RR in the Canadian Superbike Championship since 2016 and won the title in 2019. He ended the 2021 season second in the overall standings. Young has also been competing in the Race Trophy since 2016, winning this year’s competition.
Ben Young and his new BMW M 1000 RR
“Achieving this is very important to myself and my team,” said winner Young. “After a Covid affected 2020 it is very satisfying to come back racing and reach these goals I set for myself. I feel like this is a great opportunity for myself and Canadian racing to be recognized on a worldwide stage, and I am proud to be able to do that. It was a great season of racing. It was nice to be back after a year out. Working for the first time with the new generation BMW S 1000 RR was amazing right from the get go, gaining knowledge every lap we turned along the way. We do plan on racing the BMW M 1000 RR next year which for me is like a dream come true. Ever since the bike was released, it was something to drool over and now being able to race it is going to be spectacular!”
2nd place: Roberto Tamburini.
Second-placed Roberto Tamburini ended the season with 84.00 Race Trophy points to his name – just 0.86 points fewer than Young. Tamburini, who can call on a wealth of international experience gained in the Superstock World Championship and the Superstock 1000 class and put together an impressive season in the Italian National Trophy 1000. The 30-year-old also finished on the podium in all seven races. With three victories, two second-places and a third, he was crowned champion with races to spare. This was also the first title for the new BMW M 1000 RR.
The key to Tamburini’s success was his determination and fighting spirit, the hard work put in by his team Pistard-TMF, an outstanding bike, and the technical support from BMW Motorrad Italia.
3rd place: Alexandre Leleu.
© SV Agency – Stephane Valembois
36-year-old Frenchman Alexandre Leleu claimed his biggest success to date in 2021, Champion in the French European Bikes Championship. Leleu has been riding for the Tecmas Racing Team in this series since 2018. Last season he finished runner-up. This year, he was crowned champion after an impressive run of victories and podiums. He won no fewer than eight of the 14 races in the French European Bikes Championship on his BMW S 1000 RR. He also had one second-place and two thirds. With 76.86 Race Trophy points to his name, Leleu secured his place in the top three of the international competition for BMW racers.
© SV Agency – Stephane Valembois
“The BMW Race Trophy is an amazing opportunity to compete with professional and amateur riders all around the world,” said Leleu. “I love the idea that we are all trying to bring the 1000 RR on the top of the podium, not only to win our respective championship, but also this worldwide challenge. 2021 has been a great year for me and I am thankful to represent alpha Racing, BMW Motorrad France and BMW Motoride Toulouse. I can't wait to start the 2022 season with the same partners!”
4th place: Didier Grams.
© Andi Heinze / Road Race & More
Didier Grams is an institution in the International Road Racing Championship, the BMW family and the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy. The ‘fastest roofer in the world’ has been thrilling us for many years in the IRRC and at events like the famous Macau Grand Prix. In 2021, the 38-year-old claimed his fifth title in the IRRC. Armed with the BMW S 1000 RR and his team G&G Motorsport by BMW Motorrad, he emerged triumphant at the end of an exciting season. In the eight races, Grams took three victories and three second places. The IRRC champion amassed 75.20 Race Trophy points, which put him in fourth place.
© Andi Heinze / Road Race & More
“For me, it’s a real highlight to be the best German rider in the Race Trophy, finishing in a top position,” said Grams. “If I consider that I crashed in the Horiče races, and if I had scored better there, I would have even made it into the top three. But it doesn’t matter; I am within the top five and am really happy that I achieved that. There are riders from so many nations participating in the Race Trophy and it’s great to be a part of it. It’s a big BMW family, and it’s fantastic that BMW also supports small teams as we are and help us to compete in racing. I will use my voucher to get spare parts for the race bike; it all will be invested in racing.”
5th place: Michal Prášek.
Czech Michal Prášek has been a member of the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy community for a long time. The 33-year-old has been competing successfully in the Alpe Adria International Motorcycle Championship with the Roháč & Fejta Team for many years. The 2021 season featured eight races in the Superbike class, with Prášek claiming one victory, four runner-up finishes and one third-place. He ended the season in second place overall and, with 72.00 points to his name, again achieved a top result in the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy.
“Although I ride a BMW S 1000 RR stock bike, with no modifications, we decided to enter the strongest category – the Superbike class. After all, we love challenges,” said Prášek, who kept an eye on the Race Trophy ranking all season. “I twice finished runner-up at the season-opener at Grobnik, Croatia. That was followed by another second place and a victory at the Slovakia Ring. They were fantastic results, which put me at the top of the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy. I then finished second and third at the next race weekend at Grobnik. To win the Race Trophy, I would have had to win both the races at the finale in Cremona. I finished sixth in race one. I then led for almost the whole of race two, until the tyres gave up the ghost. I lost the lead with two laps remaining and eventually crossed the finish line in fourth place. It was a shame, as I was in the top three in the Race Trophy going into the final weekend, and ended up fifth. Despite this, I must say I was able to rely on my bike 100 percent. I hope next year goes even better. I would like to thank Pavel Roháč, the head of the Roháč & Fejta Team, and our sponsors for their help and support. A big thank you also goes to all those who support us and are fantastic fans.”
6th place: Glenn Allerton.
Sixth place in the 2021 Race Trophy goes Down Under to Glenn Allerton. The 40-year-old has been flying the flag for BMW Motorrad Motorsport in his native Australia for many years and races with the Maxima Racing Oils BMW team in the Australian Superbike Championship. The three-time ASBK champion was again among the top riders in the series in 2021, finishing runner-up in the championship. In the eight races that made up this year’s ASBK, Allerton claimed two second-places and two thirds on the new BMW M 1000 RR. With 70,000 points, he ended the year in sixth place in the Race Trophy ranking.
“The new bike is great, it has shown a lot of potential,” said Allerton. “It’s great to finish the year second in the championship, that was a good result for the year. A big thank you to the team and to our sponsors; it’s been a challenging season but we are very happy with our progress and excited to see what we can do next year. The future looks great. I’ll be back in 2022 and I want to go for that fourth championship.”
7th place: Ivo Lopes.
© BMW easyRace Team
25-year-old Ivo Lopes has improved steadily in recent years and achieved the biggest success of his career in 2021 when he became the first Portuguese rider ever to be crowned champion in the Spanish Superbike Championship. Lopes on the BMW M 1000 RR and all the experience of the BMW easy Race Team – a combination, to which the opposition in the strong ESBK field ultimately had to bow down. In the season’s 14 races, Lopes claimed two victories and five second-place finishes. With 64.00 Race Trophy points, the new ESBK champion ended the year in seventh place.
© BMW easyRace Team
“This is something special,” Lopes said about the title win. “It's a dream we all have as a child, to be champions in big championships, and the Spanish is one of them. We worked hard to achieve this great goal. BMW Motorrad, Eni and the BMW easyRace Team were central to the path taken to achieve this dream. This title reflects all the work and dedication, in a year full of emotions and a very positive year. I am very happy that, together with all of you, this great goal was achieved.”
8th place: Kenny Foray.
In eighth place in the 2021 Race Trophy is another rider who has been a fixture of the BMW Motorrad Motorsport family for many years: Kenny Foray. The 37-year-old Frenchman is part of the BMW works team in the FIM Endurance World Championship, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team. He has also been one of the big names in the French Superbike Championship, in which he scored his points for the Race Trophy, for a long time. He was the champion in 2017 and has finished in the top three every year since. This was again the case in 2021, when Foray and the Tecmas Racing Team ran the new BMW M 1000 RR for the first time. Foray won three of the season’s 14 races, and also finished runner-up twice and third on five occasions. He was third in the FSBK standings, scored 60.29 Race Trophy points and finished eighth in the ranking.
“My year in the French Superbike Championship was quite good,” Foray resumed. “In the beginning, we struggled a bit but then it was really good and we won many races with the new M. It’s always a pleasure to finish a year like this. The bike was just incredible, I just love it. For me, the Race Trophy is something really great because nobody else does that. It is always a race within the race. It is always fun because after each race, I check the ranking of the Race Trophy to see if I can make a podium or something like that. To finish the season within the top ten is fantastic. It’s great for all BMW racers to be a part of the Race Trophy family that unites riders from all over the world.”
9th place: Ilya Mikhalchik.
© Racing Passion Photography | Damon Teerink
Ilya Mikhalchik, the flying Ukrainian caught the eye on the international scene. In the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, the 25-year-old is a team-mate of Foray. He also competes for the EGS-alpha-Van Zon-BMW Team in the International German Motorcycle Championship. Having been crowned champion in 2018 and 2019, Mikhalchik claimed his third IDM title in 2021. This was also the first international title for the new BMW M 1000 RR despite the fact that Mikhalchik missed one event due to a scheduling clash with the Endurance World Championship. In the ten IDM races the Ukrainian did start, he took four victories – more than any other rider. He also finished runner-up twice and third once. With 58.67 points, he ended the season ninth in the Race Trophy.
© Racing Passion Photography | Damon Teerink
“It’s the third time in four years for me that I got the title in this fiercely contested championship and it's a great feeling,” said Mikhalchik. “We have developed a lot since last year and have been able to fight for victory in every race and that under different conditions. I'm very happy about that and with everything that happened during this year. We achieved that as a whole team. The target is now to be able to fight for the title again next year.”
10th place: Marc Bachelier.
© Jacques Maury Photographie
Tenth place in the 2021 Race Trophy also goes to a rider from the French European Bikes Championship, Marc Bachelier, who finished second behind champion Alexandre Leleu to make it a BMW one-two in the overall standings. On a BMW S 1000 RR run by the Nif’Bikes Racing team, Bachelier won four of the 14 races that made up the 2021 season. He also made a further two appearances on the podium – one second-place and one third. Bachelier ended the year with 56.29 Race Trophy points to his name and a top-ten position in the ranking.