Five KTM RC8R Superbikes start in IDM in Assen; 3 in top ten2009-08-23 13:53
Five KTM RC8R Superbikes were on the IDM start in Assen, three finished in the top 10 and Stefan Nebel of the KTM Superbike Team Germany successfully defended his second place in the championship standings in the penultimate round of the German International Superbike Championship.
Nebel was joined in the official KTM Superbike Team by Norwegian Kai-Borre Andersen and Jeremy McWilliams for the KTM Akrapovic Team. Along with two private 1190 RC8R machines from the Kallio Team from Finland, the Austrian brand had never before been more strongly represented in a Superbike race.
Nebel missed out on a front row grid position by just 0.04 seconds in training to start in fifth place in the 4.5 km tradition-rich Dutch circuit. Andersen was on the two-cylinder only for the second time after short tests in Assen two weeks before the races. He was thirteenth on the grid but with just a 0.3 second gap between his time and those on the front row everything looked promising for a good race from both KTM riders in the "exile" race of the German International Superbike race on the famous TT circuit. Things went even better in both training sessions for Jeremy McWilliams. The 45-year-old ex GP star was eighth in his first action on the KTM Akrapovic RC8R in the IDM.
The 42 riders started the first race of the day on the legendary circuit at exactly 13.00. In the early stages of the race Stefan Nebel was initially able to defend his fifth grid position but failed to close the gap to the front group of riders. Even though Nebel was forced to let three riders past to cross the finish line in ninth place he still picked up valuable championship points at the end of the 17-lap race. The winner Matej Smrz (Czech Republic) and the Dutch rider Raymond Schouten were both wild card entries and although they finished in front of the KTM Super Biker Nebel, they were not entitled to any championship points. It was also an unlucky day for Norwegian Kai-Borre Andersen, who started in Assen as the replacement for the team's injured Didier Van Keymeulen. He had electrical problems in the warm-up lap and did not make it to the start. . Also unlucky was Jeremy McWilliams, in the saddle of the KTM Akrapovic RC8R for the first time. The former Grand Prix winnerfrom Ireland started in the second row and was putting in good lap times when he and other riders hit an oil slick in the third round and ended in the gravel.
Good times and bad also for the privateer Kallio KTM Racing Team from Finland, who after an early victory in the Finnish Superbike Championship also used the opportunity to appear as guest riders in the IDM. Whereas Kimmo Kesti was an early crasher, Vesa Kallio rode his RC8R to a strong eleventh place.
The second race was a gripping affair from the first to the final corner. Riding in perfect weather, Nebel was lying in third place after the first lap. Constantly improving on his lap times on those of his first race, Nebel was successfully able to fend off numerous opponents. It was only towards the end of the race that the Austrian Andy Meklau and Matej Smrz, winner of the first race, were able to slip by the three-time IDM champion. Then the 10,000 spectators witnessed the best of racing and clear evidence that there is no stall order in the German KTM Superbike Team. In the legendary chicane just before the finish, Kai-Borre Andersen mounted an attack on his fifth placed team mate. The Norwegian's efforts were successful and following on from the disappointment of the first trace he was able to secure a top five finish. Because of this hard manoeuvre Nebel was not able to hold his line and had to yield to the attacking group, which also included Jeremy McWilliams. Ne belstill managed to regain three positions thanks to a spurt on the straight to the finish. With his two top 10 results the 28-year-old Nebel further secured his second place in the standings and is now 25 points clear of third placed Belgian Werner Daemen.
The top fit Jeremy Williams finished in an impressive tenth place in the high quality field of starters on the Assen circuit, which he knows well. And with less than four seconds to the fourth placed Smrz, he delivered a top show and gave the KTM Akrapovic Team reason to celebrate after his disappointing crash in the first round. But the celebrations were even more enthusiastic in the neighbouring pit garage of Yamaha. With his third place, Joerg Teuchert has managed to secure the title one round before end of the season. Congratulations to Team Yamaha Motor Deutschland!
Stefan Nebel (9./8.)
"Looking at the championship I am satisfied. But looking at the races themselves things could have gone better. We were not quite right with our settings in the first race and I couldn't attack. Things went a lot better in the second race. And even if the pace was not quite enough to be right up front I still had a great time. The attack by Kai-Borre was right on the pain barrier and I go to the last race in Hockenheim completely motivated."
Kai-Borre Andersen (DNS/5.)
"There's not a lot to say about the first race. The bike just stopped suddenly and we couldn't get it going again to be on ther start. But this disappointment was wiped out because I was able to race to fifth place from thirteenth on the grid in race two and that was my first Superbike race on the KTM. The most important this for be though in Assen is the knowledge that the KTM is a lot of fun to ride and I am able to do it quite well."
Jeremy McWilliams (DNF/10.)
"A lot of fun - I really liked it to be racing in the IDM here in Assen on the RC8R. We made some small steps forward after the training sessions so the bike suited me even better. The fact is that the IDM is such a top class competition that the settings have to be perfect if you race to win. We'll be trying to be even further up the order in Hockenheim. My thanks to the KTM Akrapovic Team, the boys really had a lot to do and they gave me a terrific bike."
Results Race One
1. Matej Smrz, Czech Republic, Honda, 28:59.602
2. Martin Bauer, Austria, Honda, 29:04.577
3. Andreas Meklau, Austria, Suzuki, 17 29:05.512
4. Raymond Schouten, Netherlands, Yamaha, 29:07.806
5. Joerg Teuchert, Germans, Yamaha, 29:08.446
9. Stefan Nebel, Germany, KTM, 29:10.745
11. Vesa Kallio, Finland, KTM, 29:13.264
Jeremy McWilliams, Britain, KTM
Kimmo Kesti, Finland, KTM
Kai-Borre Andersen, Norway, KTM
1. Martin Bauer, Austria, Honda, 28:57.118
2. Andreas Meklau, Austria, Suzuki, 28:57.332
3. Joerg Teuchert, Germany, Yamaha, 28:57.810
4. Matek Smrz, Czech Republic, Honda, 29:08.100
5. Kai-Borre Andersen, Norway, KTM, 29:08.627
8. Stefan Nebel, Germany, KTM 29:09.567
10. Jeremy McWilliams, Britain, KTM, 29:11.344
Championship Standings after penultimate round
1. Joerg Teuchert, Germany, Yamaha, 248
2. Stefan Nebel, Germandy, KTM 175
3. Werner Daemen, Belgium, 150
4. Gabor Rizmayer, Hungary, 149
5. Arne Tode, Germany, 141
11. Kai Borre Andersen, 60
12. Didier van Keymeulen, Belgium, 59
Source: KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG
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