WSBK: Corser Takes Eighth In Race One For BMW Motorrad Superbike Team
Troy Corser sets the fastest lap on the BMW S 1000 RR at Phillip Island
Despite starting from 17th place on the grid, BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider Troy Corser stormed through the field to take a tremendous eighth place in the opening race of this year’s Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island. In so doing, he also set the fastest lap of the race – with a time of 1:32.726 – and showed the huge crowd that BMW Motorrad Motorsport are not in the championship just to make up the numbers.
In race two, tyre problems forced him out of the reckoning and he should’ve retired. He had numerous lurid slides, but somehow managed to bring his S 1000 RR home, even though he nearly crashed on several occasions. His team mate Ruben Xaus finished 19th in race one, but improved considerably in the second race to finish just outside the top ten. All in all, a great start to BMW Motorrad Motorsport’s Superbike World Championship debut and a portent of things to come.
Race one was won by Noriyuki Haga (Ducati), with Max Neukirchner (Suzuki) second and Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki) third. In race two, Haga was in contention for a double, but was beaten by America Ben Spies (Yamaha), with Briton Leon Haslam in third place.
Troy – Race 1: 8th, Race 2: 22nd
A mixed day, but an absolutely great result to start our 2009 campaign. I am happy to get eighth after starting from the fifth row of the grid – my worst ever WSBK position – and I am happy to have set the fastest lap of the race. I rode race one as hard as I have ever ridden before and really had to work for my 8th after my poor grid position. But I had made a good start and I just tried to catch the leaders. The result (and fastest lap) proves that the bike has potential and I can’t wait for it to develop further.
Race two was a disaster from the start, but it wasn’t my fault. After just one lap the tyres were sliding around and it was like trying to race on a wet tyre in the dry! I don’t know why there was a problem at all, because the bike was the same, the settings were the same and the only thing that was different were the tyres. It was frustrating and dangerous, and I should’ve pulled in, but I wanted to keep going, finish the race and give as much information to the team as possible. I had two really big ‘moments’ when I was well out of the saddle, but somehow I stayed onboard. How I’m not sure, but it certainly gave the crowd a fright on the last lap! This is the first time that we have done so many laps in one go and now the technicians will have race information to analyse for the first time and from this I am confident that the progress will continue and continue.
Ruben – Race 1: 19th, Race 2: 11th
For me the results today were not important, but what was important was that Troy and I have given the team a lot of information and data to analyse. Today was the first time either of us have done a race distance and we have learnt a lot more about the bike today. We made the rear sprocket longer for race two and I was much more happy with the bike. I had told the team yesterday that I wanted three teeth longer, but they told me that two was enough. Now I think they owe me a beer because I believe I was right!
It’s hard to think that we have made so much progress that we’re battling with the top guys already and when you consider our grid positions, I think we’ve done really well. I’m not happy with 11th, but I’m happy with our performance in the race and know that it could’ve been even better – if it were not for the grid positions. This is just our first step, but already we can see that our future looks promising.
Berti Hauser (Director -BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
I am happy that we have started at last and I am proud of all the hard work the riders and team have put in these past months. The results today were very different, but we know the reasons for the poor ones and we are confident that we can improve a lot. Troy’s result in race one was overwhelming. He showed what he can do by going from 17th to 8th and setting the race’s fastest lap and it just leaves us to wonder what kind of result might have been possible if he had started from higher up the grid.
Ruben improved throughout the weekend. He knew what he wanted changed from race one to race two and in the second race he showed that he can be a top ten rider for sure. Both riders are working well together and that, together with the team’s strength of commitment, means that our goal of the top ten is achievable.
Race 1: 1 Haga (J-Ducati), 2 Neukirchner (D-Suzuki), 3 Kagayama (J-Suzuki), 4 Fabrizio (I-Ducati), 5 Rea (GB-Honda), 6
Haslam (GB-Honda), 7 Laconi (F-Ducati), 8 Troy Corser (Aus-BMW Motorrad Motorsport), 9 Smrz (CZ-Ducati), 10 Sykes