Hinterreiter wins, Hofmann new series leader Under scorching hot Spanish sun that pushed temperatures to a track-melting 53Â°C, Austrian Thomas Hinterreiter (BMW Motorrad Austria) took his first win of the year in the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup to...
Hinterreiter wins, Hofmann new series leader
Under scorching hot Spanish sun that pushed temperatures to a track-melting 53°C, Austrian Thomas Hinterreiter (BMW Motorrad Austria) took his first win of the year in the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup to blow the championship standings wide open. It leaves all to play for over the remaining four rounds before the winner of a BMW M3 is decided.
Pole man Hinterreiter lost his advantage from qualifying when the lights went green. He slipped to fifth after the first lap, but soon used his inch-perfect skill to cut back through the upper order to be in second place by the end of the fourth lap. He halved the lead of race and Championship leader Roberto Panichi (Dream Car Team) who started the 9th lap 1.5 seconds ahead, only to fall spectacularly at the second corner, his bike tumbling high onto the top of the tyre wall.
"I was changing direction in between the two corners and the front wheel went light under acceleration. It lost grip and I fell...", said Panichi. Hinterreiter did not relent, keeping his BMW R1100 S on the limit of grip around the track to extend his advantage to 5 seconds.
"I expected a good result here today and even though Roberto was fast at the start, I gained time on him and pushed him hard. It was very hot out there, but my physical condition was perfect throughout the race together with the bike that was faultless under the hot sunshine. I really needed a win and that is what I got!" said the Austrian.
The battle for 2nd place was just like the weather, red hot. Markus Barth (BMW Group Niderlassungen), Andy Hofmann (Motorrad Senger Racing), Fernando Cristobal (Auto Sport Busquets), Richard Cooper (BMW Motorrad Great Britain) and Sébastien Legrelle were nose to tail for the entire race. The only man to drop out of the group was Cristobal (stop-and-go after a jumped start).
Barth could not head the group for long, while Oulton Park winner Cooper could only just hold on to the rear of the group. That left Hofmann and Legrelle to battle for 2nd, the Belgian taking it by a mere second ahead of the tall Swiss. Barth and Cooper touched on the penultimate lap such was the competitiveness of the racing, leaving Barth 4th and the Brit to be 5th. Hofmann's effort was particularly impressive after breaking a bone in his ankle during practice 24 hours earlier but it was well worth it as he now heads the championship by 6 points from Panichi who in turn is three ahead of Legrelle.
The next group over the line was some 11 seconds back, headed by Guillaume Dietrich (Team Reseau France). American Brian Parriott had his best result since the opening round of the championship at Daytona with a 7th after finishing the first lap outside the top 15. "I made a mistake on my least favourite corner on the track when in 6th so I lost some time, but this weather is for the beach....where I'll be tomorrow!"
Former 250 GP podium man Jurgen Fuchs was 9th, Joan Manel Garcia was 23rd and Greg White from the Speed Channel in the USA came home safely after learning the circuit off a computer game. "I am having trouble learning Assen and Spa at the moment, but I have a couple of weeks before the next round!"
Belgian Legrelle set the fastest lap of the race of 1'59''263s as he sped through to his podium place.
The next round of the Championship is accompanying the Dutch TT at Assen on 28th June.