It happened in EWC 2022… #11: BMW smashes lap record to take Bol d’or pole

2023-03-17T21:20:58+01:00March 18th, 2023|2023|

BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team claimed its first FIM Endurance World Championship pole position to line up for the 100th-anniversary Bol d’Or 24-hour race at the front of the pack.

With the results based on the average time of a team’s fastest two riders from Thursday and Friday qualifying (15/16 September), the session-topping laps from Markus Rieterberger and Illya Mykhalchyk on their Dunlop-equipped BMW M1000RR proved decisive in southern France.

After heading the First Qualifying order with a best time and a new EWC Qualifying lap record of 1m52.267s – beating Xavier Siméon’s 1m52.374s set in 2021 in the process – German rider Reiterberger went faster still in Second Qualifying, which took place in slightly cooler conditions compared to the previous day, with a rapid 1m51.693s effort.

However, it was Mykhalchyk, from Ukraine, who came out on top with a sensational 1m51.641s benchmark run to become the fastest EWC rider at Circuit Paul Ricard with data from BMW Motorrad World Endurance confirming Mykhalchyk had reached a top speed of 342kph on the famous Mistral Straight.

“First of all we are really happy about this pole position, it’s been quite a long wait to make it and finally we get it by showing the work of the whole team and all the riders,” said Mykhalchyk. “There was quite a lot of problems with traffic but I had a quite normal strategy to wait for everyone to be gone and I exited on an almost empty track. I managed a good slipstream at the beginning but then I decided not to use the slipstream and just ride along. Maybe I lose a few tenths on the straight but then I won some time in the third sector and the last one. I did a few really good laps and then we finished in the highest position.”