Countdown to EWC Suzuka 8 Hours: No reason why BMW can't win again, says Reiterberger
Markus Reiterberger believes there’s no reason why his BMW-powered team can’t continue winning in the EWC when it contests the 43rd Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race later this week.
Along with Jérémy Guarnoni and Illya Mykhalchyk, Reiterberger formed part of the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team that won the 24H SPA EWC Motos in early June aboard a BMW M1000RR.
But while the German rider is optimistic of more FIM Endurance World Championship success, he also expects plenty of strong opposition from several top Japanese riders and their teams, in addition to a host of EWC regulars.
“Our approach to an eight-hour race is the same to a 24-hour race: always full attack,” Reiterberger said. “Suzuka is special. It is a very important race for the Japanese. They have a lot of tests and experience there and tyres for the circuit. So it will be quite a task for us to compete against the experienced Japanese manufacturers as the only European manufacturer. But we will give our very best and we still have our sights set on the world championship title. This is why we need the best possible result. Of course we want to win, we want to finish on the podium – this is always the case. We will see if this is possible after the first days of testing at Suzuka. But we definitely have the team, the riders and the material for it.”
Reiterberger travelled to Japan after he scored an IDM German championship double in late July at the Schleiz track. He has admitted that Suzuka will be a different prospect altogether
“I’ve already been to Suzuka twice with the Penz13 team, once for the test and once for the race,” said the 28-year-old. “The track is breathtaking but very difficult to learn. Jérémy knows it already, Illya still has to learn it. And I certainly will need some time, too, to get in swing there again. We need to find a good set-up for the bike and then it is about understanding how the overall package of bike, tyres and conditions works best. The heat will for sure be a challenge. According to the forecast, we can expect 32 degrees Celsius and a humidity between 20 and 40 per cent. That sounds like that what we are used to. But if we get the typical Suzuka weather with 40 degrees and very high humidity, then it will be of course very difficult.”