German rider crowned champion after a season of stunning domination
Domination, passion, speed, skill, champion. Just a few words to sum up Markus Reiterberger (alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW) and his 2018 season in the European Superstock 1000 Championship, as he leaves Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours as the champion. Taking the crown in the final round of the year, he showed out on track just why he’s taken this crown with his stunning domination and pace.
Hailing from Trostberg in Germany, Reiterberger first began racing in 2007 in the acclaimed Red Bull Rookies Cup with small levels of success. His first competitive victory came in 2009, in the Yamaha Cup and he was crowned champion of that same series the following season. Moving into the IDM and European Superstock 1000 Championships, he had found his calling and progressed throughout both series.
Re-entering the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship after half a season away as the reigning IDM champion, he was not short of confidence or momentum heading into the opening round of the season at MotorLand Aragon. With five years of experience in this paddock, the circuits were familiar to the 24 year old and with his championship winning team behind him, he was the man to beat.
Northern Spain in April was the setting of his first victory, crossing the line over two seconds ahead of the field as he secured his lead on lap nine of 13. He faced a battle from pole position but was able to eek out a comfortable lead over his rivals around the 5km track. With no time to rest ahead of round two, the paddock travelled to TT Circuit Assen for the MOTUL Dutch Round, and the German brought his A-Game.
Qualifying on pole position for the second time on the bounce, there was never a threat to Reiterberger’s lead as he got off the line in the 14 lap race and took his second victory of the season by over five seconds. With a ten point lead in the championship standings to his name already, he was flying on his BMW S 1000 RR.
However, like all true champions are set to face, Round Three at Imola was a challenge for Reiterberger. The tight, twisty and technical circuit doesn’t lend itself well to the Germans riding style and a top five finish was the best he could muster in Italy – leaving with just one points advantage in the standings.
Back on top form in the UK around the fast and flowing Donington Park, Reiterberger took a dominant win by over four seconds from pole position. Re-stamping his authority over the field, it was another lights to flag victory for the 24 year old and he was able to regain the all important confidence. But it wasn’t all plain sailing for him, as rain hit Automotodrom Brno just minutes before the lights went out – something he was not ready for. Despite this, he took a top four finish slipping back from podium contention early on; but his title lead didn’t slip too much with a nine point lead heading to Misano.
It was the championships return to Italy in July which was able to put one hand on the title for Reiterberger, as his fourth victory of the season gave him a 14 point lead and the chance to take the crown at the next race after the summer break.
After nine weeks away it was time for him to step up to the plate, as he had his first opportunity to secure the crown in Portugal. Portimao has been a tough track for the German in the past, and that proved to be the case in September. Getting off to a steady start, he wasn’t able to look comfortable on his BMW S 1000RR and could only secure third position. Putting up a sensational fight towards the end of the race, it wasn’t to be for the German, meaning it was all or nothing in France.
Delivering a determined and stunning ride to be crowned 2018 Champion in the eighth and final round of 2018, Reiterberger took the crown in France after a sensational performance. The King of STK1000, his season will not be one to be forgotten for a while!