Following his best ever qualifying position achieved on the S1000RR yesterday, Troy Corser followed up in style today with a fantastic fourth place finish in the first Superbike World Championship race at Valencia.
Knowing that a good start is crucial at the 4.005-km Valencia circuit, Corser launched the S1000RR off the second row of the grid, passing everyone in front of him and moving into the lead by turn one. A dedicated grandstand full of Spanish BMW fans celebrated the fact that a BMW S1000RR was running at the front in a WSBK race.
A double race winner at Valencia in 2005, Corser was overtaken by local hero Carlos Checa, who then lost control of his Ducati and went off the track, forcing Corser to take avoiding action. This meant he was caught by the riders following him and the remainder of the race saw Troy fighting challenges from championship leader and eventual winner Leon Haslam, former double WSBK champion James Toseland, Max Biaggi and Noriyuki Haga.
With Haslam pulling out a lead at the front, the television cameras concentrated on the battle for fourth, with Corser and Haga both fighting hard. On the final lap, Haga tried everything, but Corser’s determination held him off and his superb fourth place was the best result to date for the factory BMW S1000RR rider.
Race two was restarted after a racing incident brought out the red flags. This time, 20 laps and aggregate times would decide the winners. Unfortunately for Troy, he couldn’t repeat his race one performance and finished in 12th, just behind his BMW Motorrad Motorsport team mate Ruben Xaus, who also finished race one in 12th place.
Troy Corser: “Race one was great for me. The results are what I expect from myself and it shows what the bike is capable of. If we can make the bike work like it did in the first race at other race tracks we can be really competitive everywhere. The bike is improving all the time, so all in all I am happy. We encountered some grip issues in race two but we can learn from that and look forward to Assen.”
Ruben Xaus: “I am not so disappointed with how things went this weekend. I improved with every session, but I think I just need more time on the bike. This track is quite difficult for me and we struggled with set-up. We didn’t qualify well and starting from the fifth row you leave yourself with a lot of work to do. The racing was tight all the way through the field and I battled hard all race. We can now look forward to Assen now, which is a track that I really enjoy so I think we can be strong. I must thank the team for all their hard work and congratulate Troy for race one.”
Berti Hauser – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “This weekend we achieved our best result so far with the S1000RR and we saw that we can get close and run with the top guys. The new software we brought this weekend is working well and we saw evidence of that through qualifying and race 1. We have to go away now and look at the data from race two and identify what happened. Nevertheless, I am happy for the riders and the team. We can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Race one: 1 Haslam (GBR – Suzuki), 2 Biaggi (ITA – Aprilia), 3 Toseland (GB – Yamaha), 4 Troy Corser (AUS – BMW Motorrad Motorsport), 12 Ruben Xaus (ESP – BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
Race two: 1 Haga (JPN – Ducati), 2 Checa (ESP – Ducati), 3 Biaggi (ITA – Aprilia), 11 Ruben Xaus (ESP – BMW Motorrad Motorsport), 12 Troy Corser (AUS – BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
Points: 1. Haslam 123, 2 Biaggi 105, 3 Checa 80, 9 Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 46, 15 Ruben Xaus (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 19