IDM takes a 3-week break: KTM riders Smrz and Bauer leading the Championship
With the International German Superbike Championship (IDM) taking a break until mid June KTM reviews the performance of its factory supported KTM RC8 R riders so far this season.
The KTM RC8 R has thundered to victory in five of six Superbike races after three of eight race weekends. Austrian rider Martin Bauer rode the Made in Austria twin machine to a double victory at the opening event. Then Matej Smrz of the Czech Republic repeated the glory in Oschersleben and on top of that there was another single victory by the Czech rider on the Nuerburgring.
Smrz (Inghart KTM Superbike Team Germany) leads the standings with 98 while Martin Bauer, the only rider for the Motorex KTM Superbike Team, follows close behind with just five points separating them. Stefan Nebel, German who rides with Smrz for Inghart KTM, crashed in Oschersleben through no fault of his own and having sustained a broken collarbone, was forced to revert to being a spectator from the perspective of the pit wall.
What the riders say
Matej Smrz (26), Inghart KTM Superbike Team Germany, IDM Leader, 98 points: »Before the start I thought it would only be possible to win a race in the second half of the season. Now I’ve been first over the line three times so it’s all going better than I expected. After all the KTM RC8 R as a two-cylinder superbike is new for me, also the fact that I’m racing for an official team and am using a distinct brand of tires. You have to get used to all the things that have to be done on the track and in the pits and you need a certain calmness to manage it. The team has helped me to feel secure and we work well together. It was only on the Nuerburgring that I made a mistake. I should have been more patient in closing the gap with the leader the first race then I wouldn’t have had the crash. It was better for me in the second race. I noticed quite early that I was going to be able to overtake Teuchert on the Yamaha but I waited until the third last lap. My goal for the rest of the season? Stay concentrated, always go home healthy, always see the checkered flag and try to stay in front in the championship, especially at the end of the season. «
Martin Bauer (35), Motorex KTM Superbike Team, second in the IDM standings with 93 points: »I’m looking forward to the Sachsenring because it’s my favorite circuit. There you have to ride at a lean angle all the time and I really like that. My chances for the title are still intact but I would have rather had a good lead in the points than have to make up the deficit. But just like in previous years I had a bit too much bad luck. Everything went well at the Lausitzring but I was in the lead in Oschersleben then I had engine trouble and had a DNF. Then in the second race the clutch didn’t work and I was second last at the first corner. I managed to catch the leading group but by then there wasn’t enough time to make a final attach on Smrz and Muggeridge. I was in the lead for a while at the Nuerburgring but I couldn’t break away so I turned the screw and tucked in behind Michi Ranseder so I could get him just before then end of the race. But then the tires went and that put an end to that. In the second race my starting position was wet from a thunderstorm while the bikes beside me were standing on dry asphalt. Then someone crashed right in front of me in the first corner and it cost me a lot of time to avoid him. I was back at eighteenth place at the end of the first lap. It also took some time to go fast through the wet patches on the track with the slicks because I didn’t want to take too much of a risk. I was able to make up a few places when the track was dry and in the end I was tenth but got the points for ninth place because there was a guest rider. I haven’t done anything wrong up till now but I had to swallow some disappointments. That’s why I hope that fortune smiles on me a bit more in the next half of the season. «
Stefan Nebel (29), Inghart KTM Superbike Team Germany, 13th in the IDM, 26 points: »Actually the season started really positively for me with a podium place at the Lausitzring. I was again in the front row for the start at Oschersleben and I was in the front group when there was the crash with Giuseppetti where I broke my collarbone. At first we tried to heal the fracture with normal medication and therapy but the space between the fracture was too big. Because of this for that I had to be a spectator at a Superbike race for the first time in two years. That was really tough, almost torture in fact. So after that I immediately had surgery on the Monday. First it was planned to do a bone transplant from my hip but in the end they didn’t go ahead with this. Now the break is held together with seven screws and there is a plat over it because the bone was thicker there as a result of an earlier injury. When I ride again is now up to how quickly it heals, but it will be at Schleiz at the latest. Anyway my team boss Ingo Haertel is not planning to engage a replacement rider. «
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