Sunday, February 14, 2010

HP motor racing, Extreme conditions

The BMW Motorrad Team Offroad has been in Langensteinbach, near Chemnitz in Germany this weekend, competing in the gruelling 24-hour Endurance Day event.

BMW Motorrad Team Offroad in Langensteinbach
Team riders Simo Kirssi, Sascha Eckert, Werner Haubold and Gerhard Forster all had the same aim - to give all they could for 24 hours and achieve the best possible result with the BMW HP2 Enduro in the PRESTIGE class.

Finn Simo Kirssi Le-Mans
The start was promising with the fans´ favourite Simo Kirssi getting away in third place, following the ´Le-Mans´ start. His expert riding skills were evident right from the outset and the talented Finn even took the lead on the first lap.

HP2 Enduro power
The second section of the circuit, with its steep climbs, showed the benefits of the HP2 Enduro´s considerable power, but the extremely narrow and deep grooves, slippery descents and mud passages would always make high demands of the technology.

BMWs pit team
Because so much rain had fallen in the days prior to the race, the forest soil was completely sodden and as predicted, it started to pour again not long after the 5pm start. BMW´s pit team had its work cut out removing as much mud as possible from the HP2 at the hourly rider changeovers, putting a fresh rider in the saddle and sending him off on the next lap.

single-cylinder bikes
The team fought through the night in deteriorating conditions and had to recover and restart the HP2 several times in metre-deep grooves that were just about passable for single-cylinder bikes but virtually impossible for a flat-twin engine configuration.

difficult passages offroad
Finally the disappointing end came at 6am - after 13 hours of riding - when the team had to retire with engine damage. To make matters worse, this occurred just after the route was shortened and the most difficult passages had been taken out for the remainder of the race.

Simo, Sascha, Werner and Gerhard
Despite the incredible efforts of the riders, the race regulations did not permit a change of engine, so it was a disappointing end to a very promising performance from Simo, Sascha, Werner and Gerhard.

BMW Motorrad Team Offroad
However, this has not affected the motivation of BMW Motorrad Team Offroad in any way and they will be back this Saturday in Kaplice, where Simo Kirssi contests the next round of the Austrian Cross Country Championship.

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