Martin Bauer delivers first ever KTM Superbike victory in Oschersleben

Austria's Martin Bauer gave KTM an almost perfect race weekend at the German International Superbike (IDM) Championship on Sunday when he rode the new KTM RC8R to first place in the first of two races. He then followed up with a second place when the second race was halted after the 14th lap. The win on the KTM RC8R is not only historic for the Austrian sports motorcycle specialists as its first ever victory in Superbike competition; it also vaults the company into the lead in the manufacturer's standings in the IDM competition.

Bauer's teammate German teammate Stefan Nebel finished fifth in the first race and was ranked sixth in the second for good championship points.

Tough race conditions

It was a tough race weekend punctuated by multiple crashes on the Oschersleben circuit, especially on Saturday in temperatures of only between 4-8 degrees Celsius and in driving rain. Bauer crashed in the timed training when he was unable to avoid a rider who went down in front of him and this put him back at eleventh place on the starting grid for Sunday's race. Teammate Nebel was in front at eighth just behind KTM privateer Vesa Kallio at seventh.

Historic first race victory for KTM

Bauer charged into eighth position in the opening lap of race one and gradually forged his way through the pack until he finally overtook race leader Joerg Teuchert, going on to win by a 2.9 second margin. It was an occasion for real celebrations for KTM Superbike Team Germany in only their second season in the IDM. Nebel also engaged in a battle of attrition with the BMW duo Werner Daemen und Barry Venemann to be fifth at the checkered flag.

Bauer also went on the hunt in the second race on the German circuit and with six laps to go was lying second, 3.3 seconds behind leader Teuchert when the race was halted due to a crash.
Martin Bauer: As an Austrian it is absolutely great to deliver the first ever race win for the brand KTM….I think we have been able to show exactly what this bike is all about. We already had the pace at the Lausitzring, but after a crash when I was in the lead, I reduced the tempo a bit in the second race so I could be sure of picking up some points. It certainly wasn't easy here. Two crashes in training and starting from the third row. It was tricky to overtake those in front of me when I started back at eighth on the grid. But I took them on one at a time, the bike went well and I had Joerg in my sights. I was faster in some parts of the circuit so I was able to catch him and take the lead. Then when I had enough advantage I could relax and ride home. I'm very thrilled to have got the best performance out of the KTM RC8R in a relatively short time."

Stefan Nebel: I'm not completely happy because I thought I would be able to ride with Teuchert and Muggerdge. If it had stayed cooler my tires would have suited the race better. The setting and the grip was not really optimal. When Martin passed me I couldn't go with his tempo. I got away well in the second race but it didn't end so well for me and that cost me some points. I'm not completely satisfied with my weekend."

Konrad Hefele, KTM Team Boss: it is great that we managed our first victory. Now we have shown that we belong to the group that can win. I'm also happy with the improvement compared to Lausitz. Its difficult to say whether Martin would have been able to win the second race. He was trailing by 3.3 seconds but there was a chance. Second place is quite okay. The weather conditions for training were very difficult for everyone and it was quite a turbulent weekend. Martin managed to get the best possible out of it, especially from eleventh on the grid. It was always clear that he could be with the front runners from a third row start but after his crash in training, we were not sure about his self confidence. Stefan is not satisfied, which is undestandable. He didn't have an optimal setup in both races. But I am sure that he will be fully motivated and will attack in the next races at the Nuerburgring - because this is a circuit that sui ts him.

KTM Privateer Vesa Kallio managed to finish eleventh for seventh on the grid in race one and picked up another point in race two when he finished 15th. "My lap times were okay but I would have liked a better place finish. I wasn't able to make good use of the good starting position in the second race and I almost had a collision with some of the other riders - that cost me a lot of places," he said.
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