24h Le Mans: BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team kicks off the 2023 FIM EWC with the new BMW M 1000 RR.

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Le Mans. The stage is set for the FIM Endurance World
Championship (FIM EWC): next weekend (13th to 16th April), the BMW
Motorrad World Endurance Team will be starting the 2023 season with
the new #37 BMW M 1000 RR. The opening event will once again be the
24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA). In terms of riders, the BMW Motorrad
World Endurance Team around Team Manager Werner Daemen (BEL) is
focusing on continuity. For the 2023 season, Markus Reiterberger
(GER), Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR) and Jérémy Guarnoni (FRA) will again be
the regular racers on the #37 BMW M 1000 RR. Patrick Hobelsberger
(GER) will support the team as the fourth rider at Le Mans.

 

For the latest generation of the BMW M 1000 RR, the aerodynamics have
been reworked extensively, which has significantly increased
aerodynamic efficiency. BMW Motorrad Motorsport has also been working
intensively on durability over the winter, particularly with regard to
the challenges in endurance racing. There are also various other areas
in which further optimisations have been made to the #37 BMW M 1000
RR. The team enjoyed successful winter testing. To conclude
preparations, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team took part in the
private test day at Le Mans on Tuesday.

The new Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team will be debuting at Le Mans. In
this project, the French Tecmas Racing Team of team owner Arnaud
Sassone (FRA) is joining forces with Werner Daemen’s company
Motorcycle Racing Parts, supported by BMW Motorrad Motorsport. The
team will contest the full season in the Superstock class of the FIM
EWC with the #9 BMW M 1000 RR. The bike will be ridden by Kenny Foray
(FRA), Jan Bühn (GER) and Loïc Arbel (FRA). Maxime Bonnot (FRA) is the
fourth rider for Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team.

The Le Mans race weekend begins with the free practice session on
Thursday morning. Grid positions will then be determined during the
two-part qualifying session on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.
The 46th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will start on Saturday at
15:00 (CEST). The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team and the
Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team will be joined at Le Mans by the privateer
BMW teams Team LRP Poland and Seigneur Motorsport Team Mont-Blanc.

The 2023 season in the FIM EWC consists of four events. The Le Mans
season opener is followed on 17th/18th June by the 24 HEURES SPA Motos
at Spa-Francorchamps (BEL), where BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team
celebrated its first victory in a 24-hour race last year. The 8 Hours
of Suzuka (JPN) will be held on 6th August, and the season ends in
autumn, with the Bol d’Or at Le Castellet (FRA) on 16th/17th September.

Quotes ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

 

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director:
“After the long winter break, we are now looking forward to
the start of a new season in the FIM EWC. During the break, we have
been intensively working on further optimising our endurance
motorbike. The new BMW M 1000 RR boasts a completely reworked
aerodynamics package. We have also been focusing on improving
durability – this has proved to be a weak spot over recent years. We
are sure that we have put together an overall package that will allow
us to battle for the title, with the BMW Motorrad World Endurance
Team, our three proven riders Markus, Ilya and Jérémy, the new M RR
and our partners. We want to lay the foundations for this with a good
result at Le Mans. We are also looking forward to working with the new
Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team in the Superstock class. We have all the
ingredients for a successful season here too. We are all looking
forward to Saturday afternoon, when the starting flag will wave for
the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the new season.”

 

Werner Daemen, Team Manager BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team:
“The final test went well. The riders and the team worked a
lot. We tested different things and tyres, in different conditions
with cold and warm weather, with rain and wind – we had everything. We
set very competitive lap times, in the morning and also in the
afternoon’s rain. I think we all have a good feeling heading into the
race weekend. The team and the riders made a really good job and we
are well prepared.”

Markus Reiterberger: “The final test was very
extensive. We were able to sort out many things, but we still have
work to do before the race. We have clear hopes for the weekend: to
finish on the podium or to get the win. It would be great to win the
24 Hours of Le Mans. We know we can do it in terms of the team, the
package and the riders. The important thing is just to get through.
There is still a question mark over the weather, but I think we will
be prepared for all conditions. We will give our best and are confident.”

Ilya Mikhalchik: “For sure, I was really missing the
feeling of jumping on the bike and racing. Now finally race week
starts. In the final test, I was feeling really good in the wet and in
the dry. The bike behaved really constant and pretty good. Of course
we have some more work to do to further improve the bike in all
conditions in preparation for the race. But so far all is looking
good. All of us riders are fast and have a good feeling. Now let’s see
how the weather will be during qualifying and then we hope to have a
good start to the race and get a strong result.”

Jérémy Guarnoni: “I think our expectations for this
weekend are the same as always when we arrive for a 24-hour race. We
want to achieve the best possible result. And I think we have the
potential, the speed and the overall package to be able to be fast and
win the race. For us riders, is important to make no mistakes and
then, if we have problem-free 24 hours, we can for sure be on the
podium or win. I think that we also have a good chance to get extra
championship points in qualifying but this might also depend on the
weather. We don’t know yet how the conditions will be. So let’s see –
we will as always give the maximum.”

Arnaud Sassone, Team Owner Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing
Team:
“The goal is to finish on the Superstock podium and, if
possible, on the highest step. We do not want to put us under extra
pressure but this is what we have been working for. We have the
technical personnel, the riders, the bike and the will to win. We all
are highly motivated. The fact that we now are a permanent team in FIM
EWC also changes a lot in the heads. We do not just compete to finish
a 24-hour race or a single event but to be competitive over an entire
season, hoping to claim the Superstock title.”

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