Martin Bauer was the KTM hero of the day at the Salzburgring this weekend when the KTM Superbike riders contested the IDM (German International Superbike Championship). Bauer, riding with a badly injured hand rode to a 2-4 finish in the two races to reclaim the lead in the overall standings
In Saturday’s practice it was not certain that Bauer would be able to ride on Sunday even though he was the fastest of the three KTM supported riders on the speedy Austrian circuit where the fastest riders clock in excess of 190 km/h. Bauer finished seventh fastest on Saturday in what is his home race while Stefan Nebel of Germany, returning after an injury break was tenth. The third of the trio of riders of the KTM RC8 R Superbike, Matej Smrz of the CzechRepublicwas 16th, but only 0,8 seconds off the front row times.
Race one on Sunday produced an absolutely outstanding performance from Martin Bauer. On Friday it was far from certain that he would be able to race at all and the team said they would decide session by session whether it would be possible to have him on the track. Two things combined to allow the Austrian to compete on Sunday – perfect support from his team of physiotherapists and his unbelievable will to ride. He went out, rode like a champion and finished second behind fellow Austrian Michael Ranseder but in front all his major rivals. With Carl Muggeridge finishing only in tenth place, Martin already reclaimed the standings lead after race one and he did in in front of the admiring eyes of KTM management and more than 500 KTM employees who went to the circuit situated near the company headquarters in Mattighofen.
Bauer was so exhausted after the race he could barely move. The effort of riding without full use of his right hand and therefore having to exert more pressure with his legs to stabilize the bike on the 4. 2 km circuit with a top speed of more than 300 km/h had completely drained him but attracted huge admiration from the many KTM fans who came to see him ride.
Stefan Nebel finished strongly in sixth place and also had to fight against the pain of his still healing shoulder and collarbone injury. Matej Smrz also rode well to move from the fourth row into the top ten, battling with Australian Rider Muggeridge. Smrz picked up five points for his eleventh place.
The 10,000 spectators were excited to see Bauer get away well also in the second race to be third at the end of the first lap. Ranseder overtook him but he managed to stay in touch with the three front riders and was in fourth place when rain stopped the race. This earned him another 13 points to extend his lead over Muggeridge to 12 points. While Bauer’s epic ride on Sunday will go down at KTM as one of the bravest, the Austrian now has three weeks break to help heal his injury.
Nebel also finished strongly just two seconds behind Martin in fifth place. While his injury break has stolen any championship chances from Nebel, he has underlined his motivation with his strong comeback. Matej Smrz was unable to finish the race as his RC8R began to lose performance and rather than take any risks on the high-speed circuit he decided to return to the pits. He is now fifth in the standings but only 15 points behind second place and is enjoying a strong rookie year with the Inghart KTM team.
Martin Bauer (finished 2-4): “Without a doubt the hardest race weekend of my career. It was important for me to get a good start in both races to enable me to ride together with those at the front. I only managed to secure second place in the first race in the third last corner. It was a good thing that the second race was stopped because I am not sure I would have been able to ride in the last four laps. What I really need now is a holiday. Many thanks go to my two physiotherapists Erwin Göllner and Dr. Thierry Murrisch – without their help it would have been impossible to return to the top of the standings. “
Stefan Nebel (finished 6-5): “It was only three days ago that I got the okay to start here and I am very happy that I managed to do quite well for the home race and in front of so many fans. Despite the conditions not being ideal I managed quite well and even though I wasn’t completely fit I was still much faster than in 2010. The team really did a great job. Finally, a huge compliment to Martin. While I was riding behind him I just hoped he would be able to keep going at what was a crazy tempo.
Matej Smrz (11/DNF): “It’s no secret that the Salzburgring is not my favorite circuit, and on top of that I had a crash in free practice and technical problems in race 2. For me it was a rather disappointing weekend and I’m happy that it is over.”
IDM SUPERBIKE, Race 1 Results
1, Michael Ranseder,Austria, BMW
2, Martin Bauer, Austria, KTM
3, Ghisbert van Ginhoven, Netherlands, BMW
4, Damian Cudlin,Australia, BMW
5,Filip Altendorfer,Germany, BMW
6, Stefan Nebel, Germany, KTM
11, Mate Smrz, Czech Republic, KTM
IDM SUPERBIKE, Race 2 Results
1,Filip Altendorfer,Germany, BMW
2, Michael Ranseder,Austria, BMW
3,Ghisbert van Ginhoven,Netherlands, BMW
4, Martin Bauer, Austria, KTM
5, Stefan Nebel, Germany, KTM
IDM SUPERBIKE Standings
1, Martin Bauer, Austria, KTM, 146
2, Karl Muggeridge, Australia, Honda, 134
3, Michael Ranseder, Austria, BMW, 129
4, Damian Cudlin, Australia, BMW, 120
5, Mate Smrz, Czech Republic, KTM, 119
13, Stefan Nebel, Germany, KTM, 47