Martin Bauer secured his third Superbike title and the first ever for KTM onboard his RC8 R Superbike on Sunday during a turbulent final round of the International German Superbike Championship (IDM). Bauer was declared champion without mounting his bike after the first race was cancelled when organizers declared the track unsafe.
The Austrian then rode to a strong second place to round up what has been a very strong season. It was Martin’s final appearance in the IDM. Securing the title capped this chapter in his racing career and he was a worthy winner.
KTM rider Stefan Nebel also finished on a high in the last race of the 2011 series to take home the trophy for third place. His Inghart-KTM teammate Matej Smrz was not so lucky. He went into the final race weekend still with a chance to take second in the standings but problems with his braking system forced him out of the competition this weekend.
The first scheduled Superbike race was cancelled after a rider in the program’s opening race, the Yamaha R6 Dnulop Cup, lost some fluid on the track over a length of 1.5 km. As the surface of the traditional circuit was already wet it took a lot of time to clean the asphalt and the end result was also not satisfactory enough to allow the race to go ahead. After the sighting lap all the riders agreed to not ride under the prevailing conditions and race organizers then decided to hold only one race instead of two. As Bauer already had a 40-point lead in the standings, he was automatically declared the season’s champion. While he would have preferred to challenge the other riders in both races on Sunday the decision was correct in terms of rider safety. Nevertheless Martin and his team put off any celebration until after the final race.
As the fastest qualifier Bauer settled in behind the leader Austrian Michi Ranseder when the race got under way. He came close to closing the gap in the middle of the race but Ranseder retained the advantage and went on the win by 0.8 seconds. KTM’s 35-year-old IDM champion then enjoyed a long lap of honor before being enthusiastically welcomed by his team. The title is Bauer’s third in the highly regarded championship and the first for KTM and the RC8 R Superbike.
The KTM-Inghart Team was also in good spirits following Stefan Nebel’s strong end of season performance. He was fifth after first lap and then hunted down Damian Cudlin and Karl Muggeridge to finish just behind the new IDM Champion.
Martin Bauer, Motorex KTM Superbike Team (2nd):
IDM Superbike Champion 2011
“Finally we made it. This title is a very special moment and I am absolutely happy that I won it for me, for my family and my team. When I rode the bike for the first time I already had a good feeling and told RC8 Engineer Wolfgang Felber that I think we can win with it. Now it feels even better to know that our package was good enough to beat the best. Thanks so much to everybody who helped me in the last 24 months!”
Stefan Nebel, Inghart KTM Superbike Team (3rd):
“Today I had good fun – apart of the crazy situation in the first race. After seeing the track for myself I thought the cancellation was absolutely okay. It was important to me to finish the season on the podium. I am also happy for Martin who deserved the title more than anyone, and I know this is also an important achievement for KTM.”
Matej Smrz, Inghart KTM Superbike Team (DNF):
“My bad luck continued today after the frustration of the round before. I am sorry about it and sorry for the team because my pace over the weekend was good enough to fight at the front. Congratulations to Martin on winning his third IDM title!”
Wolfgang Felber, Head of KTM Road Racing:
“It was both a curious day and a great day. I don’t have words to describe how I feel now we have won the title, but it is fantastic. I would just like to thank Martin, everybody in KTM who is involved in this motorcycle and our partners – we made it. We showed that this year we had the best rider on the best bike in the best team!”
Race 1, cancelled due to safety reasons.
Race 2 Results
1. Michael Ranseder (A), BMW
2. Martin Bauer (A), KTM
3. Stefan Nebel (D), KTM
4. Karl Muggeridge (AUS), Honda
5. Damian Cudlin (AUS), BMW
DNF Matej Smrz (CZ), KTM
IDM SUPERBIKE Standings
1. Martin Bauer (A), KTM, 247 [IDM SBK Champion 2011]
2. Michael Ranseder (A), BMW, 204
3. Karl Muggeridge (AUS), Honda, 200
4. Damian Cudlin (AUS), BMW, 196
5. Matej Smrz (CZ), KTM, 161
10. Stefan Nebel (D) KTM, 100
24. Vesa Kallio (FIN), KTM 6
1. BMW, 480 points
2. KTM, 457 points
3. Honda, 424 points
4. Yamaha, 196 points
Philipp Oettl overall fourth in 125 cc class
German rider Philipp Oettl finished his IDM 125 2011 campaign in style in second place in the final race and fourth overall for the season. Teammate Alexander Kristiansson, who finished tenth in the final race was just two points in front of him to be third in the final rankings.
IDM 125, Results
1. Luca Amato (D), Aprilia
2. Philipp Oettl (D), KTM
3. Michael Ecklmaier (D), Honda
4. Jack Miller (AUS), Aprilia
5. Florian Alt (D), KTM
9. Luca Gruenwald (D), KTM
10. Alexander Kristiansson (S), KTM
IDM 125, Standings
1. Jack Miller (AUS), Aprilia, 154 [IDM 125 Champion 2011]
2. Luca Amato (D), Aprilia, 153
3. Alexander Kristiansson (S), KTM, 82
4. Philipp Oetl (D), KTM, 80
5. Luca Gruenwald (D), KTM, 78
8. Florian Alt (D), KTM, 65
10. Toni Finsterbusch (D), KTM, 52