Shouts of joy after the first round of the IDM Superbike at the TT Circuit Assen were replaced by sheer horror. Florian Alt's podium finish was followed by the third technical failure of the season. The plan to defeat the now four-time champion Markus Reiterberger once again remains.
As the fourth engine was already in use in the BMW M 1000 RR at Assen, Florian Alt was already penalised from the outset. As only three engines are compulsory in the technical regulations, the 26-year-old was automatically placed at the back of the grid, even though he had finished qualifying with the second-fastest time.
The view was unfamiliar, but Alt was still able to take something positive from it. "We have received new electronics from BMW, which we are currently testing. And it is, after all, a challenge to have to attack from the very back. I can't say I'm not up for it." The goal was clearly a podium finish.
Theoretically, of course, there was the chance to completely roll up the field of riders from behind, but does that work in practice? Florian Alt proved all doubters wrong. The battle between the Superbike World Championship stars was raging at the front, but it was Florian Alt who really put on a show. After just half a lap, he had already reached the middle of the field. Now he had to keep on the ball, because the initial bunch began to pull apart. Alt crawled his way further towards the top, tenth by tenth. No one else had driven as many laps in the second qualifying session as he had, and that was now paying off. The driver from Nümbrecht worked like a machine. Fast, precise, efficient. After 15 laps and a total of 68.325 kilometers, Florian Alt crossed the finish line in third place. He had made it! That it was really enough in the end was a feat of strength. "Assen has always been our Achilles' heel, we have worked enormously on it," said Florian Alt, "and now we also have the new engine in use. In the last few races I had no chance against Markus Reiterberger. And the plan is to beat Reiti again this year."
With third place, Florian Alt simultaneously slowed down the Bavarian once again on his way to a fourth title in the premier class. Only Florian Alt in second place overall was still able to delay the Bavarian's triumph.
He himself had already lost it at the start of the season with the fatal technical failure.
To crown the day another trophy should enrich the Wilbers box in Assen. Due to the reverse grid, in which the fastest riders of the first race start from the third row of the grid, the way from the back to the competition was not that far for Alt this time. He fought like a lion, a repeat of the first race was in sight - until he parked in the gravel on the fifth lap, completely stunned. Once again, a technical defect had knocked him out of his race to catch up and his ambitions. Alt had to watch Markus Reiterberger take the next victory, which also secured him the next title.
Those who fall deep can also get up again and come back even stronger. "We're incredibly sorry for Flo that the race weekend ended like this," says team boss Benny Wilbers about the situation. "The whole team had imagined it differently after the great first race. It is of course bitter that it has hit us again. Nevertheless, we're not giving up and want another win." On the first week of September at the Red Bull Ring in Austria comes the next chance. (Source: Wilbers-BMW-Racing, photos: Crumbdesign)
IDM calendar 2022
06.05. - 08.05. Lausitzring
20.05. - 22.05. Oschersleben
24.06. - 26.06. Most (CZ)
22.07. - 24.07. Schleizer Dreieck
12.08. - 14.08. Assen (NL)
02.09. - 04.09. Red Bull Ring (A)
23.09. - 25.09. Hockenheim (Germany)