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Reiterberger out at Althea, replaced by Raffaele de Rosa in time for Assen

Posted By Wes Fleming, Thursday, April 27, 2017

Earlier this month, Althea BMW Racing Team announced the early exit of rider Markus Reiterberger from the World Superbike Championship. He will be replaced on the team by Italian Rafaela de Rosa, who will run in this weekend's races at Assen in the Netherlands. De Rosa won last year's Stock1000 title as a member of the Althea Racing team.

Raffaele de Rosa. Photo from his website.

Reiterberger took himself out of the running, saying he hasn't yet fully recovered from a crash last year. In that crash at Misano he fractured his T10 and T12 vertebrae. (see map of spine)

Reiterberger had this to say: "After serious consideration, I have decided to step away from participating in WorldSBK. We made a strong start last season but then couldn't keep up the good results. I have therefore opted to refocus on making a complete recovery and on my racing career. I am very thankful for the experience in WorldSBK with Althea BMW Racing Team and I am now very much looking forward to new challenges. I feel the need to thank my sponsors for having allowed me to take part in the world championship, BMW Motorrad for their trust and passion, and my appreciation also goes out to the whole Althea BMW Racing Team crew for their work. I was very much encouraged by the positive reception from my friends, family and fans – I am very thankful for that. It was always my dream to participate in WorldSBK and with the experience I’ve gained, I will work very hard to return to the championship."

Markus Reiterberger (GER), #21

Althea BMW Racing General Manager Genesio Bevilacqua said, "I am of course very sad to have to make this announcement, as I consider Markus to be a strong athlete and a considerable talent, who could have been a good match for the Superbike category. Unfortunately, the accident he suffered at Misano complicated things, as he was unable to fully regain that confidence that he had shown during the earlier part of the 2016 season. I think that this decision leaves us all sad, me personally, the entire Althea team and BMW too, but I believe it’s normal that he wants to find that peace of mind. Markus is still only 23 and so has all the time he needs to recover and bounce back. I can only thank him for the commitment he showed throughout his stay with the Althea team, and we all wish him lots of luck, in the hope that we soon see him back, stronger than ever and whatever the bike. He can no doubt still find the physical conditions he needs to shape his future."

TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands is the fourth round of this year's WorldSBK Championship, and it has hosted motorcycle races for nearly 100 years. The 2.8-mile track features six left and 11 right turns, including a couple of serious hairpin curves.

Althea BMW rider Jordi Torres (#81) finished in fifth place in last year's round at Assen. "I always enjoy racing at Assen," Torres said. "Last year I was able to achieve a solid fifth place finish in race 2 and this year I hope to do even better. The only unknown is the weather, as from the forecast it looks like it will be cold. The tests at Aragon went well and were useful, which leaves me feeling confident not just for Assen but for the rest of the championship."

Jordi Torres (ESP), #81

De Rosa added, "I'm really pleased to finally start my season. Originally the idea was to only do a few wildcard entries but now that I have the chance to race for the rest of the season I'm feeling extremely motivated. Last year I won my first Stock race at Assen. We need to look out for the weather, which is always unstable in Holland but my aim is to stay focused and do my best. I can’t wait to get started.

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Ray Tubbs says...
Posted Thursday, April 27, 2017
Bad luck for Reiterberger but a break for de Rosa. Such is the nature of racing.
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