Round three of the 2021 FIM EWC: BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team travels to the famous Bol d’Or with the wind in its sails.

Munich. The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team is all set for
the next classic in the 2021 FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM
EWC). The 24-hour Bol d’Or on 18th/19th September at Circuit Paul
Ricard in Le Castellet (FRA) is round three of the 2021 FIM EWC
season. Alternating in the saddle of the #37 BMW M 1000 RR will once
again be Markus Reiterberger (GER), Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR) and Xavi
Forés (ESP). Kenny Foray (FRA) is also in Le Castellet as the team’s
fourth rider.


In preparation for the famous endurance race, the BMW Motorrad World
Endurance Team attended a two-day test in Le Castellet last week. The
team, led by team principal Werner Daemen, and the four riders
fine-tuned the set-up of the #37 M RR, ready to take on the challenges
of the 24-hour race. The test was a successful one and the team set
the fastest time on both days – with a new lap record on each
occasion. On Tuesday, Mikhalchik topped the standings with a new
record of 1:53.261 minutes on the #37 bike. Reiterberger then went
even faster on the Wednesday, setting a new record of 1:52.484 minutes.


The last time the Bol d’Or took place, in September 2019, the BMW
Motorrad World Endurance Team was making its debut in the FIM EWC.
Back then the team finished third with the #37 BMW S 1000 RR to claim
a spot on the podium at the first attempt. The team has also finished
third on the new #37 BMW M 1000 RR in each of the two races that have
been held so far in the 2021 season – the 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA)
and the 12 Hours of Estoril (POR). The BMW Motorrad World Endurance
Team lies third in the world championship with 80 points, seven less
than the leaders. The race weekend in Le Castellet kicks off on
Wednesday 15th September with scrutineering. This is followed on
Thursday 16th September by the first practice and qualifying sessions.
On Tuesday 14th September, another private test day will be held.


As well as the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, the privateer BMW
teams Tecmas BMW 9 (#9 BMW S 1000 RR), Team univers racing/ACRacing
#23 (#23 BMW S 1000 RR) and LRP Poland (#90 BMW S 1000 RR) also
compete in the Bol d’Or.


Quotes ahead of the Bol d’Or.


Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “The
Bol d’Or is one of the biggest classics in motorcycle racing. Our
debut in the FIM EWC in Le Castellet two years ago was unforgettable.
Finishing on the podium at the first attempt was very special. Since
then, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team has proven that this
success was no flash in the pan. It has established itself among the
world’s elite, first with the BMW S 1000 RR and now with the BMW M
1000 RR. Last week’s test was very promising and gives us momentum
ahead of the race weekend. However, we know that nothing is guaranteed
in an endurance race, and that is particularly true of 24-hour races.
Our goal is to impress with a strong performance at the Bol d’Or. The
ingredients are there to achieve that: a superbly coordinated and
experienced team, an extremely competitive motorbike, and strong, fast
and experienced riders. We are well equipped to face the challenges of
the Bol d’Or. If everything goes to plan in the race, we can continue
the success story of the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team.”


Werner Daemen, Team Manager BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team:
“The test last week was really good. We still had some small
issues, but this is normal. The team found a good set-up; we have been
the fastest on both days, we broke the lap record on both days, and
this with two different riders, which is also important. All four
riders did a very good job. Kenny, of course, who knows the track very
well, and then Xavi, who was there for the first time, was really fast
and showed his potential with good lap times. Also Ilya and Markus
were fast as always and concentrated. I think we are well prepared for
the race. Of course, a 24-hour race is a 24-hour race, but we are
confident we can show another strong performance at this year’s Bol d’Or.”


Markus Reiterberger: “On the first day of the test I
first had to refamiliarise myself with the circuit, as the last time I
was here was back in 2015 and there have been a few changes since
then. However, I adapted really quickly and set the second fastest
time behind my team-mate Ilya, who set a new record. We had good pace,
but still tried out a few things on the bike. On the second day I was
really happy with my race pace and the long runs. I was super quick
and consistent. At the end of day two I also set a new record. To have
ridden the fastest lap ever on a motorcycle in Le Castellet is very
cool. However, what is far more important is the race pace, and we are
excellently positioned with our bike in that sense. We will now
fine-tune our package a bit between now and the race. Our goal for the
race is to win. The podium is the least we are aiming for, victory
would be fantastic. We have the package to achieve it, the team will
do a superb job of preparing the bike, and we are really well
positioned with our trio of riders and our fast fourth rider. I am
looking forward to the Bol d’Or.”


Ilya Mikhalchik: “Last week we had a really positive
test. We have been really fast and set two lap records. Our pace was
very strong during the long stints. We also tried a few tyres for the
race but also for the fast lap. I am confident that we are ready to
fight for the top positions. Me personally, I tried a lot of things,
especially on day two, and several settings on the bike. I had a very
good feeling for the bike, and it worked very well on new as well as
on used tyres. This is really important for the endurance race. I am
very happy and looking forward to the race.”


Xavi Forés: “It was a very positive test for me. I
was there only for one day, as I had to go back to the UK for the
British Superbike Championship. It was an amazing day for me as I
could learn the layout of the track as I had never been there before.
I really enjoyed riding there; I was fast and consistent as well on my
laps. I did a long stint trying to stay focused on the race pace and I
think we did quite well. So I am looking forward to the race. It is
going to be a very important race for us because we are fighting for
the championship. It will be a very long race. We have to stay very
focused and make no mistakes. If we can do that, I think we have the
pace and are strong enough to fight for the victory. I can’t wait to
start and see what the race weekend brings.”


Kenny Foray: “It was a really good test for us. The
race pace of the bike was great for all of us four riders. This is
good for the race. Of course, you can never know what happens in the
race because it goes over 24 hours, but I think that we are ready.”