For those of you wondering if the new Buell 1125R was going to perform on the track, the answer seems to be yes. In its first time out at Hockenheim, the only 2 Buell 1125R racers in the 32 bike lineup placed 2nd and 5th. In the field were Ducatis and Aprilias plus four BMW HP2 Sports and five KTM RC 8s.
Correction: Actually, the Moto-ST was the first race for the 1125R as pointed out in the comments, this was the first race in Germany. The title of this post is now changed to reflect that.
Buell press release:
BUELL ON PODIUM AT HOCKENHEIM 1000
New 1125R Makes German Racing Debut on Easter Weekend
The brand-new Buell 1125R delivered a stunning debut at the start of the German racing season on Easter Saturday, posting 2nd and 5th place finishes on Hockenheim’s demanding Grand Prix circuit.
Over the past 33 years, the 1000-km of Hockenheim has not only become the established prelude to the German motorcycle racing season, the traditional endurance race is also considered the most important German production-based racing event for motorcycles. This year, BMW and KTM each supplied selected teams with extensive factory support, both competing in Class 4 for four-stroke motorcycles of unlimited displacement with three cylinders or less that features the best and most popular riders. No fewer than four BMW HP2 Sports and five KTM RC 8s claimed chances to win in a grid of 32 motorbikes that also held numerous Ducatis and Aprilias.
But as it turned out, others were to provide the true sensation on March 22nd – the only two competing Buell 1125R, entered into the race by the Buell dealers of Bonn and Hannover. Both bikes had only arrived in Germany three days before Easter, but despite minimal preparation, caused a stir right from the start with scorching lap times at low ambient temperatures on a dry track. In the sprint race over 14 laps, riders Axel Reimann and Ray Buchmann realized the 1125R’s full potential and left nearly the whole field behind, beaten only by the factory supported BMW under former Moto GP racer Jürgen Fuchs and professional racer Marcus Barth.
Volker Schirmer, manager of Buell Hannover, could not disguise his enthusiasm over his team’s second place finish. “I am absolutely ecstatic. The 1125R is a quantum leap in output and performance. The 146 hp V2 engine, developed by Rotax to Buell specifications, is a perfect match for the best chassis that Erik Buell has ever designed.”
After coming in fifth, riders Julius Ilmberger and Martin Kratzer were also delighted with the new Buell. “With slightly harder tires, our chances would have been even better,” said Andreas Binner, boss of Buell Bonn. “But even so, I am really happy – my boys have done a fantastic job, and the 1125R is up for success.”