Victory for BMW at the first Cross Country Race of the year!
When the checkered flag dropped in front of the Finnish BMW factory rider Simo Kirssi at the finish line of the GCC-Race in the Sandpit of Tollwitz the whole team of BMW Motorrad Motorsport was overcome by a wave of relief. After the hard work of the last months they could celebrate a victory at the first race of the German Cross Country Championship which is the off road series with the most participants in Europe.
It was hard work in Tollwitz for the 28 year old Kirssi on his BMW G 450 X. The competition was international and tough, riders like the multiple times Le Touquet champion Arnaud Demester and the French cross star Cyrill Coulon were at the start line. The track was sandy and nearly non existent after the heavy rain showers that had poured down before the race. Nevertheless, Simo never lost grip and controlled his opponents throughout the whole race.
The Le-Mans-Start did not work perfectly for Simo. He started off in fourth position and had a small crash in the first lap which however did not have any consequences. After that he made his way to the front quite quickly and had to give up his leading position only for a short time when he stopped for refueling. After three successful World Championship races the Enduro newcomer proved that he is capable of becoming this season’s number one in the European Cross Country Sport.
Bert Meyer, the Youngster in the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team also had a great performance. The 21-old Saxon was leading the field in the first lap, but then he had to give in and let the first three bikes go. He fought an exciting battle to the end for fourth position with Arnaud Demester which he lost when the French sand specialist crossed the finish line five meters in front of him.
Simo Kirssi: „I did not feel so well today. I am having a cold and was feeling weak. In the first lap I had a small crash together with Steffen Albrecht. But nothing serious, we both could continue straight away. I also got stuck in a stone field. Consequently my speed was not satisfactory today, but of course I am happy for my victory. I see it as a reward for the team’s hard work of the last months.’
Berti Hauser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director): „This was a start into the Cross-Country season we could only wish for. We worked hard all winter because we knew that we need a bike which works if we want to be competitive and fight for top positions. Simo was also well prepared. He won this race in an impressive manner which was anything else but easy considering the strong competition in the field. I am happy for the team, the mechanics, the riders and the team manager Wolfgang Fischer. It’s the reward for our hard team work and we are simply enjoying it now.’
German Cross Country, Rnd 1, Tollwitzer Sandkessel
1. Simo Kirssi (FIN), BMW Motorrad Motorsport, 15 laps; 2. Cyrille Coulon (FRA), Yamaha, 15 laps; 3. Steffen Albrecht (GER), Yamaha, 15 laps, 4. Arnaud Demeester (FRA), Yamaha, 15 laps; 5. Bert Meyer (GER), BMW Motorrad Motorsport, 15 laps; 6. Andy Boller (GER), KTM, 14 laps; 7. Jonas Karlsson (SWE), KTM, 14 laps; 8. Thomas Günther (GER), Husaberg, 14 laps; 9. Jörg Haustein (GER), KTM, 14 laps; 10. Falko Karbautzki (GER), KTM, 14 laps.