Monday, July 27, 2009

HP motor racing, Iron Road Prolog, 2

The 1,500 contestants of the previous day turned the track into a nightmare. Toughest conditions for the riders as well as for the bikes - not to mention the dust that got even worse.

HP motor racing,  Iron Road Prolog, 2

Would the King´s Class winner Giovanni Sala be able to strike back and defeat the young Fin Simo Kirssi in today´s 2nd run? Or would the young generation take over? All three HP2 Endurists had splendid runs - skillfully powerdrifting the bikes through the hairpins and up the hill.

Giovanni Sala vs Simo Kirssi
Giovanni Sala (ITA) vs. Simo Kirssi (FIN)

Everybody waited excitedly for the official results. In the meantime the top-riders of the event showed their best tricks to the gathered crowd.

Jimmy Lewis HP motor racing
Jimmy Lewis

For Stunt-Champion Chris Pfeiffer the laws of gravity didn´t even seem to apply any longer, performing breathtaking wheelies during an extremely steep hillclimb.

Simo Kirssi HP motor racing
Simo Kirssi

No wonder that there were numerous requests for autographs afterwards! Again, the BMW Motorrad Instructor Team took part in the event as well - with a lot of fun - and also highly successful: In the Desert Bomber category for 2-cylinder-bikes 2 instructors made the Top-Ten. On their 100 % production R 1200 GS Enduros!

R 1200 GS Enduros BMW Motorrad

Responsible for the best news of the day was again the young Fin Simo Kirssi. Despite the tough conditions he reached a fabulous 9:02,67 min. - even two seconds faster than his time in the first run.

young Fin Simo Kirssi
A time noone else was able to beat. So Congratulations to Simo Kirssi, the overall winner of the Iron Road Prologue 2005!

Simo Kirssi winner Iron Road Prologue
Jimmy Lewis also improved his time - by unbelievable 20 seconds, which put him on third overall, right behind the Erzberg-Legend Werner Müller (KTM).

Erzberg-Legend Werner Müller HP
Chris Pfeiffer´s fifth place overall and places 1, 2 and 3 in the Desert Bomber class turned BMW Motorrad´s first official appearance at the Erzberg into a complete success.

Chris Pfeiffer HP motor racing
Sometimes one cylinder simply isn´t enough!

BMW HP motor racing champion
The complete result lists overall and of all single classes can be found at

HP motor racing, Iron Road Prologue

Where else can you watch the world´s top motorcyclists starting next to ambitious amateurs and fun-riders? No place else but here at the Erzberg Rodeo. No matter if Enduro-Champion, Dakar-Expert, Freestyle-Superstar or just anyone else of the up to 1,500 starters - they all have the same sand between their teeth and the same goal before their eyes: to conquer the hill. Fast. Very fast. Last year the Sunday event had been stopped due to a cruel snowstorm, this year the curse of perfect weather conditions was the dust, reducing visibility down to zero.

HP2 Enduro riders Simo Kirssi, Jimmy Lewis, Chris Pfeiffer
Eat my dust

"Eat my dust" quickly became the motto of the day on the 13.3 km long and approximately 13 m wide track. Among the first group of starters - sent on the prologue one after each other with a few seconds delay - were also the HP2 Enduro riders Simo Kirssi, Jimmy Lewis und Chris Pfeiffer.

Kurt Nicoll, Chris Pfeiffer, Jimmy Lewis

After an impressive demonstration of their skills on the track they commented their runs with cool understatement: "It felt rather unspectacular," Pfeiffer explained. "But sometimes, unspectacular is quite fast." "No special occurrences," let Kirssi know. Nice to receive such relaxed reports right after flat-out runs up the hill, spiced up with some nasty gravel chicanes.

BMW Motorrad Enduro Team Feil
BMW Motorrad Enduro Team Feil

Later on the official results brought the sensation. At first, nobody was willing to believe it - so the announcer waited for another confirmation. Then it became official: Simo Kirssi (9:05,65 min) defeats Kurt Nicoll on his 1-cylinder KTM by breathtaking 6 seconds. With Chris Pfeiffer on 3rd and Jimmy Lewis on 5th (9:29,38 min) the BMW Motorrad Enduro Team Feil was highly pleased that evening.

HP motor racing,  Iron Road Prologue
What 13.3 km of Iron Road do to the tassels...

"Best time counts" say the regulations for the Iron Road Prologue. Which simply means that the personal best - no matter if reached on Friday or Saturday - determines the final result. So for the next day everything is still possible - therefore, on Friday night, preparations are taken seriously.

HP motor racing, Erzberg Rodeo, A

Insiders are not fooled by the heavenly beauty of the Austrian "Steiermark" - cause once a year, the "mountain of iron" calls for the ultimate offroad-spectacle.

HP motor racing Austrian Steiermark

For the 11th time the erzbergrodeo takes place - with a new challenge, for big, strong twin-cylinder-bikes only: the so called King´s class.

B. Hauser, S. Kirssi, J. Lewis, C. Pfeiffer
B. Hauser, S. Kirssi, J. Lewis, C. Pfeiffer

The BMW Motorrad Enduro Team Feil sends its top-riders Simo Kirssi, Jimmy Lewis and last year´s winner of the Hare Scramble Chris Pfeiffer on HP2 Enduro in the race. 13,3 kilometers up the hill of rough gravel will be a tough test for the riders and bikes.

Erzberg Rodeo mountains

Chris Pfeiffers strategy for the two runs of the challenge was simple: "Always at full speed." If the times of a rider´s two runs are more than 60 seconds apart, a 30 second penalty is added to his personal best for the final result.

HP motor racing equipment
the equipment should be ready to go

Before a cheering crowd in downtown Eisenerz Berti Hauser, General Manager Motorsport BMW Motorrad, started - as the first contestant - the chase up the hill.

Jimmy Lewis BMW Motorrad
Jimmy Lewis: pushin´ the limits

With Dr. Herbert Diess, General Manager BMW Motorrad, sending him as well the the officially supported Feil-Team on the track.

Chris Pfeiffer HP motor racing
Chris Pfeiffer: Flat out

Then the big twins demonstrated why it´s called the King´s class: with a wild roar the bikes were thundering up the hill, sliding through the turns, accelerating hard up the long straights, reaching top-speeds of 180 kph!

Simo Kirssi HP motor racing
Simo Kirssi

Rallye Dakar-experienced Jimmy Lewis were pushin´ the limits.

Flying Fin Simo Kirssi
The Flying Fin

Afterwards stating: "I´m quite sure that in some corners nobody went faster than me". The "Flying Fin" Simo Kirssi, who some insiders already had on the list for the title, impressed everyone with the fastet run of the day: 9:11,91 min.

trial expert Pfeiffe HP motor racing

Unfortunately a technical problem stopped him 300 m short of the finish line which caused a 30 sec. penalty.

HP2 Enduro motorcycles

At the press-conference - after a most exciting day of offroad-fun - stunt and trial expert Pfeiffer commented: "It´s amazing that someone like me, who spends 90% of his time on motorcycles in first and second gear and who lacks offroad-experience, obviously can be that fast on the HP2 Enduro.

Kirssi BMW Motorrad Rider Training

The controllability and grip of the bike is amazing." With two excellent runs he finished second, only 1,2 sec. behind the winner Giovanni Sala. With Kirssi on fourth and Lewis on fifth the conclusion of this hardcore-test for the HP2 Enduro can only be: Mission completed. And there´s more to come.

Enduro Park Hechlingen, Germany

The Instructor Team of the BMW Motorrad Rider Training also had lots of fun, while presenting their travel and training program to the offroad crowd. With Andi Rothballer on eighth, Robert Schweiger (11.) and Tomm Wolf (24.) they showed the audience where to go in order to train your offroad skills: to the Enduro Park Hechlingen, Germany.

HP motor racing, Roppen-Tirol, A

Roppen in Tyrol was where the action was for the BMW Motorrad Endura Team Feil and the HP2 Enduro with its rider Chris Pfeiffer. The second race of the ACC was anything but ideal HP2 terrain. An approx. 5 km long, extremely tight course, covered with almost head-size rocks which are just lying in wait to give every bike a technical knock-out. 270 riders took up the challenge.

Chris Pfeiffer, a "qualified" trial specialist and reigning stunt riding vice world champion had all the prerequisites for riding the HP2 Enduro into the top 10 in this race. Pfeiffer before the start: "During the last races with the HP2, the team has gained a lot of experience and we can now really exploit the HP2 to the full to ride right up front even in this very difficult terrain."

No sooner said than done. Right from the start the man from the Allgäu showed everyone that the HP2 would be in the front pack. Long, almost trial-like passages alternated with short and fast full throttle sections. But it was above all on the extremely steep up- and downhill rides where Pfeiffer showed his class.

The spectators and the competition were stunned. One participant said: "Unbelievable. I would never have thought it possible to move the HP2 on this tough tight course. You have to see it to believe it."

And the ore mountain (Erzberg) specialist really was able to hold onto his position at the front for almost the entire race. The HP2 reeled off the laps like clockwork and was even up to fourth place almost to the end of the race. Only in the last third Chris had to give in to a pursuer but easily rode home in 5. place.

BMW Motorrad Sports Director Berti Hauser: "We are very pleased with this position and have proved that we can ride right up front with a two-cylinder bike among a very good field of racers. We are looking forward very much to the next races at the Erzberg and at the GCC in Mernes."

Further information and result lists at

HP motor racing, Neiden-Torgau, D

It could hardly have been more extreme. The 24-hour race of the BABOONS Endurance-Days in Torgau near Leipzig turned out to be torturous for both man and machine alike. Shortly before the start on the eve of Whitsunday at 5 p.m. all the heavens opened up - and didn´t close again until the next morning. Hence, the almost 10-kilometre long circuit turned into one big "mud pack".

extreme HP motor racing

Despite these adverse conditions the atmosphere at the track and among the participants was great, even among the BMW Motorrad Enduro Team Feil that went to take up their starting positions in a prominent, international array with the BMW HP2 Enduro. Simo Kirssi (Finland), Jimmy Lewis, Jonah Street (both USA) and Markus Theobald (Germany) fought for every metre in the Prestige Class. In this class, four motorcyclists ride the same motorcycle alternately.

BMW Motorrad Enduro Team Feil

Notable at the start: Kirssi got into the lead at the start with no trouble at all and remained in the very top group for a long time at first. In the subsequent course of the race, the HP2 were always between fourth and sixth place during the evening and throughout the whole night.

BMW HP2 Enduro. Simo Kirssi

In the box, there was a great deal to do. Heavy mud had to be cleared as much as possible from the motorcycle time and again and small repairs had to be carried out. The team worked intensively round the clock. At about 7 a.m. the bad news then broke: power loss on the left cylinder. The thick mud had resulted in cooling problems. Thus, after exactly 14 hours and 46 laps, the team was prematurely out of the race. At this moment, the HP2 Enduro was in fourth position close behind third place.

Markus Theobald Neiden-Torgau, D

Under these conditions, the track proved to be materially murderous. Almost 50 percent of the teams competing in the Prestige Class met the same fate as the BMW Motorrad Enduro Team Feil.

BMW Motorrad Berti Hauser

In spite of the breakdown, the BMW camp was not low in spirits. According to BMW Motorrad sports manager Berti Hauser: "The mood at the track was terrific. We will also be competing here again in 2006." The BMW participation was regarded as a success because the HP2 has shown once again that it can keep up in the leading group of sports motorcycles.

HP2 Enduro Simo Kirssi

Even Jimmy Lewis (several times a competitor in the Paris-Dakar) was bowled over: "It was really great. I never imagined it would be so difficult. I´d love to come again." And Simo Kirssi: "It was too bad that we couldn´t ride till the end. I was really dying to show what the HP2 Enduro was made of."

More information and results at

HP motor racing, Malandrone-Livorno, I

At his Italian Debut in Malandrone at Livorno, Simo Kirssi gave a perfect show a la Italia with his HP2 Enduro. If the numerous Italian riders and spectators were still sceptical about what a 2-cylinder bike had lost in this race before the start, at the second race of the Italian Cross Country Championship (ICC), this scepticism changed quickly into pure enthusiasm. Numerous cross-country fans could be observed intensely gesticulating to share the news with their friends even during the race. Then, relatively quickly after the race had started, there was basically only one bike that attracted any interest: the HP2 Enduro. You couldn´t help feeling that lots of spectators at the track had only come because of the appearance of the new BMW.

Italian Cross Country Championship
Simo Kirssi fought an inspiring duel for the lead in the first three laps with Matteo Paoletti, the Italian Enduro champion. But the latter soon had to accept the fact that Kirssi and the HP2 were simply faster on this day. And thus, the flying Finn went into the lead with his BMW for the first time during a cross-country race this year. In the meantime, he had continuously extended his lead to about a minute. "Finally I could do as I liked and showed what the HP2 was made of ", said Simo after the race.

Kirssi HP2 Malandrone-Livorno, I
It was unfortunate that bad luck struck again. After three quarters of the distance had been covered, a stone whirled up damaging an electric cable of the fuel pump. The consequence: The engine only ran on one cylinder. Kirssi decided to continue riding despite power loss. "If I had ridden to the pits, I would have lost far more time." As a result, the likeable Finn was not able to stay in the lead until the end of the race, but still managed to gain fourth place in the overall assessment.

Kirssi HP2 Enduro in Malandrone
After the finish, the HP2 Enduro together with its swift rider were surrounded. Kirssi had to give many autographs; proving that BMW and the young rider has captured the hearts of the Tifosi by storm. "I have never experienced so much warmth as in Malandrone", said Simo, who was really taken by the openness of the Italians.

HP motor racing, Malandrone-Livorno
The track in Malandrone was hard, dusty and well open and had more of a motocross character; which, in turn, proves the versatility of the HP2.

More information and result lists at

Saturday, July 25, 2009

HP motor racing, Walldorfer Waldprüfung, D

The 2 race of the German Cross Country Championship was held on 2.2.2005 in Walldorf. As in the two last races in Tollwitz (GCC) and Reiserberg (ACC) Simo Kirssi lined up at the start on his HP2 and enthralled the crowd of spectators.

German Cross Country Championship

Kirssi said before the start: "Walldorf is going to be a tough piece of work. The course is over 8 km long and loaded with difficulties. There are narrow, winding steep inclines in the forest and a rock-hard motocross track with lots of long-distance jumps".

BMW HP motor racing

Nevertheless the young Fin confidently got to work over the next two hours. Starting from 15. position he flipped the switch to "full throttle". With more than 100 hp and approx. 70 kg more battle weight compared to the competition on their single cylinders, this really is saying something. Kirssi raced with the leading pack right from the start and won the hearts of the approx. 3000 spectators thanks to his unspectacular yet supremely controlled riding style. "Above all in the uphill forest section where the narrow ruts make riding difficult, the chassis and above all the beefy engine of the HP2 really moved me up to the front." The likeable Fin always came out of the difficult sections back into the open with top-notch times.

Kirssi HP motor racing

"On the motocross sections things then really started to heat up. The many jumps, some up to 15 meters far, call for full concentration but the well-tuned suspension and above all the Conti damping system always gave me the feeling of being in control."

motor racing, Walldorfer Waldprüfung, D

From lap 4, Kirssi was always racing near position 10. His lap times remained in a window of only 6 seconds until approx. 10 minutes before the end of the race. You could set your watch by the constant times of the HP2 as it came past the start and finish.

Markus Theobald HP2 motor racing

Only in the second-to-last lap a defect of the rear wheel suspension brought the Fin to a standstill. HP2 development head Markus Theobald: "Simo is always instructed to carefully observe the riding behaviour of the HP2 during the race. If he notices anything he is to come into the pits so we can analyse the fault right away. And that´s just what he did. The exact cause of the fault still has to be deduced.

BMW Cross Country Championship

The Cross Country Championship gives us the ideal conditions for conducting these extreme tests. We´re very pleased and are confident that the HP2 will shake things up again at the 24-hour race on 14./15. May."

motor racing The Cross Country Championship

For further information and to view the results lists, please go to:

Friday, July 24, 2009

HP motor racing, Reisersberg-Passau, D

Following his sensational start on the HP2 Enduro at the German Cross Country opening race in Leipzig, BMW rider Simo Kirssi is a top contender for a place right up front in the European XCC series. The 25 year old Fin lived up to this claim by riding to 14. place on April 23rd in Reiserberg at the first race of the Austrian Cross Country Championship (ACC), the Austrian equivalent of the series.

HP motor racing, Reisersberg-Passau, D

"The bike showed how very easy it is to handle. You feel you`re always in control, even in extreme situations", said Simo Kirssi before the race which he then confidently started into aiming to use his experience gained in Tollwitz.

Austrian Cross Country Championship

At the start the young Fin got off very well and was able to work his way forward in the first three rounds. In fifth position, however, a flying rock damaged the fuel supply of his HP2 Enduro and forced him into the pits. Simo: "At first I didn`t even know what had happened but suddenly the bike had no more power and I headed for the pits." The damage was quickly discovered and repaired.

HP2 Enduro Championship

Simo went back into the race 20 minutes behind. Places at the top were now out of the question but the dedicated Fin gave everything he had. After a spectacular chase he battled his way forward to 14th place overall. What is especially remarkable is that Kirssi`s lap times remained virtually constant for the entire 2 hours of the race. The last lap was even his fastest: "The HP2 gives you a relaxed feeling even after 2 hours of racing. Especially the superb suspension simply irons everything flat".

German Cross Country race

Simo has quite a few things planned for the next German Cross Country race on May 1st in Walldorf: "To finish among the first 12 on the HP2 Enduro would be fantastic," says the likeable Fin.
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