Hatrick for new series leader Thomas Hinterreiter Austria's Thomas Hinterreiter completed a fine weekend on the baking hot Catalunya racetrack for the third round of the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup 2002, defeating StÃ©phane Mertens and BoxerCup ...
Hatrick for new series leader Thomas Hinterreiter
Austria's Thomas Hinterreiter completed a fine weekend on the baking hot Catalunya racetrack for the third round of the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup 2002, defeating Stéphane Mertens and BoxerCup ambassador Randy Mamola to the highest rank of the podium. Starting from pole position, the Team Austria rider moved up from fourth position on lap one to eventually secure a 3-second lead past the chequered flag. Fourth in the provisional standings on his arrival in Spain, the ex-German Superbike champion leaves Barcelona as the new series leader.
"This was one of those weekends where you couldn't hope for things to get any better," grinned an overjoyed Hinterreiter, one of his proud children safely tucked under his arm as he walked down from the podium. "My bike worked perfectly throughout the weekend, and I was lucky to make the right tyre choice for the race from the range of Metzelers available."
In the scorching heat with track temperatures climbing as high as 49°C, Hinterreiter worked his way up the field to take the lead on lap six of the 15-lap race. "Panichi proved to be a really tough opponent, and although I was riding as hard as I could he just wouldn't let go... until he eventually crashed out of the race on lap 10."
Hinterreiter was also able to open up his lead when championship leader Markus Barth lost the front end of his BMW R 1100 S on lap seven, with third placed Mertens only very closely avoiding the German rider's machine. "I think catching Thomas was possible, but Hoffman got in my way and slowed me down ," explained Mertens. " Later in the race Randy Mamola passed me for second position, and it looked like we were closing the gap on the leader. But there was not enough race left," said a nevertheless satisfied Mertens.
Indeed Hinterreiter and Mertens had every right to be satisfied, since they now lead the provisional standings with Hinterreiter on 52 points, ahead of Mertens on 40.
UK representative Brian Morrison lived up to his reputation with a fine 6th position, leading the second pack composed of Jorge "Aspar" Martinez and Ivan Lazzarini. After a conservative start to the season, the Scot has now gotten to grips with the BMW R 1100 S, and leads the British delegation in sixth provisional position.
The race saw no less than eight crashes (Buylincks, Legrelle, Mandelartz, Barth, Panichi, Nÿstrom, Lagrive), with early leader Markus Barth even tumbling a second time after he attempted to rejoin the race. But fortunately no-one was injured. `It seems that many riders adopted the softer compound front tyre," explained Randy Mamola," while the right choice was the medium hard compound Metzeler which was perfect. But that's racing and once again the guys out there proved what a good show those BMW riders can put on. I really had a ball out there, and my biggest satisfaction was to have my kids come up on the podium with me !"