24h Le Mans: First podium finish of the season for the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team – Victory at race debut for the new Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team.


Le Mans. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team kicked off the
FIM Endurance World Championship 2023 (FIM EWC) with a podium
finish. Markus Reiterberger (GER), Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR) and Jérémy
Guarnoni (FRA) claimed third place at the opening event, the
legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA). This was also the first podium
for the new #37 BMW M 1000 RR in its first race. Mikhalchik also
posted the fastest lap time, 1:35.751 minutes. The newly-formed
Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team enjoyed a perfect debut, claiming victory
in the Superstock class.


Having endured difficult, changeable conditions during qualifying,
the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team began the 24-hour race from
eighth place. It took just 90 minutes for the #37 BMW M 1000 RR to
reach second and Reiterberger, Mikhalchik and Guarnoni battled for the
lead as the hours ticked by.

However, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team had to overcome a
setback in the eighth hour of the race. Mikhalchik slid as he was
overtaking a slower rider and had to head for the pits with a damaged
motorbike. The team gave a fantastic collective performance to repair
the bike, returning Mikhalchik to the track after just seven and a
half minutes. The trio on the #37 then mounted a recovery performance
from seventh position.

As the race progressed, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team stood
up to the harsh conditions, overcoming very cold temperatures and
early morning fog to move up place by place. On Sunday morning, in the
19th hour of the race, the #37 BMW M 1000 RR was back in third and on
course for the podium. Mikhalchik, Reiterberger and Guarnoni held that
position to the finish line.

Kenny Foray (FRA), Jan Bühn (GER) and Loïc Arbel (FRA) were riding
the new #9 BMW M 1000 RR for the newly-formed Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing
Team. Supported by BMW Motorrad Motorsport, the French team started
its first race from second place in the Superstock class. The class
lead was claimed early on and was only surrendered rarely, and
briefly, as the race progressed. The Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team was
able to celebrate a debut class victory. In the overall standings, the
team claimed an outstanding eighth place.

The privateer Team LRP Poland (#90 BMW S 1000 RR) took a not-at-fault
tumble due to an oil slick on Sunday morning, returning to the race
after a break for repairs. Dominik Vincon (GER), Pepijn Bijsterbosch
(NED) and Julian Puffe (GER) reached the finish line in 15th place
overall, corresponding to eleventh in the Formula-EWC class. The #74
BMW S 1000 RR from the Seigneur Motorsport Team Mont-Blanc, with
William Wallart, Christophe Seigneur and Joachim Delaforce (all FRA)
at the controls, reached 29th place overall and 17th in the Superstock class.

The second race event in the FIM EWC 2023 will take place on
17th/18th June, the 24 HEURES SPA Motos in Spa-Francorchamps (BEL),
where the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team last year celebrated its
first win in a 24-hour race.

Reactions after the 24 Hours of Le Mans.


Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “This
24 Hours of Le Mans once again had everything that makes endurance
racing special: action and drama. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance
Team also experienced highs and lows here at Le Mans, but never gave
up and claimed a well-deserved third place on the podium.
Congratulations to the riders and the team, who gave their all. We
showed that we can battle for the win with our overall package. Our
new BMW M 1000 RR went like clockwork in its first race, the
performance was outstanding, the fastest lap shows how fast it is and
there were no technical issues at all. That is an excellent foundation
for the upcoming races this season. A big thank you to everyone in the
BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team led by Werner Daemen and at BMW
Motorrad Motorsport, who have contributed to this successful debut for
our new endurance bike. We are also delighted with the win for the
Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Teams in the Superstock class – that was the
perfect debut for this newly-formed team. Congratulations to Arnaud
Sassone’s squad!”


Werner Daemen, Team Manager BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team:
“We are very happy. It was our goal to finish on the podium
and we achieved it. Our new BMW M 1000 RR was strong, fast and
reliable over the entire week, and it was great to transfer its huge
potential into a podium finish. Everyone in the team did an
outstanding job again. The preparation for the race and the pit-stops
have been perfect. All our riders were fast and once more showed a
very strong performance. Thanks to everyone in the team and at BMW
Motorrad Motorsport for enabling us to start the season strongly. Now
we can’t wait for our home race at Spa-Francorchamps.”

Markus Reiterberger: “It’s great to start the new
season with a podium at Le Mans. It was a very eventful race and going
home with a trophy at the end is a well-deserved reward for the hard
work of the entire team. Our new BMW M 1000 RR was fast and great to
ride. Starting from eighth on the grid, we fought for the lead early
on in the race. The bike ran without any issues, the tyres worked
well, in all the conditions that we experienced at Le Mans. We showed
how strong our package is when we worked our way back up the field
after the repairs, which the team completed super quickly. We have
shown that also the win would have been possible if we would not have
had the crash but those things can always happen in an eventful race
like this. Overall, there are a lot of points that make us very
confident going into the next races.”

Ilya Mikhalchik: “I am happy that we finished the
race on the podium. I had this unlucky fall when I was approaching a
slower rider in front of me. I lost the front but managed to bring the
bike back to the garage. The team did an incredible job repairing the
bike – a big thank you and sorry for my mistake! The team enabled us
to quickly return to the track, start our catch-up and get the podium
result. The new bike is really great to ride, and the fact that I set
the fastest lap of the race proves its speed. We know that we can
fight for the wins with it. It is a good feeling to know that we have
a strong package of bike, riders and team. Now our full focus is on
Spa, a race we have fond memories of.”

Jérémy Guarnoni: “We are really happy with that
result. Third place is pretty good. I think that we have the pace for
the win but 24 hours are long and it is really difficult to make no
mistakes, so we are really satisfied. The bike was amazing and really
fast and the tyres worked well. The mechanics did a great job
repairing the bike very, very fast after the crash. All this is really
good and the attitude of everyone is great. We are now quite well
placed in the championship and now we are looking forward to Spa. We
know that we are very fast there.”

Arnaud Sassone, Team Owner Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing
“What a start for our team to its first full season in
FIM EWC! Of course we dreamed of winning the Superstock class right
away at Le Mans. The fact that we’ve actually made it is just
fantastic. I’m very proud of our riders and our team, who mastered all
the challenges of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and did a flawless job. We
showed the potential of the Superstock version of the BMW M 1000 RR. A
big thank you to everyone who made this success possible: the riders,
the team, MRP, BMW Motorrad Motorsport and all our partners. Now we
are already looking forward to Spa-Francorchamps.”

Kenny Foray, Tecmas-MRP-BMW Racing Team: “It has been
a crazy race, and I think that I can speak for all three of us that is
has been a really good race for us. Thanks a lot to the entire team
that worked so hard during these past months. Thank you to my
team-mates, who also did an incredible job. It is fantastic to win
this race. It has always been a goal and we made it – that is perfect.”


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