Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport completed its last winter tests of 2010. In preparation for the 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship, works riders Troy Corser (AUS) and Leon Haslam (GBR) spent three days of testing at the Spanish race track of Jerez (Wednesday to Friday), followed by two more days at Portimão in Portugal (Monday and Tuesday). They were joined by BMW test rider Steve Martin (AUS) and Leon’s father, Ron Haslam, who also completed some laps on the BMW S1000RR. Unfortunately, both tests at Jerez and Portimão were hampered by rain and the team had only one day of dry running, which was the Thursday at Jerez.
“Unfortunately we had the bad weather, but on the dry day at Jerez we gathered lots of good information,” says Troy Corser. “My comments and those of Leon were pretty much in parallel regarding the areas we want to improve, and the areas where we think we are heading in the right direction. We tried many different things on the suspension together with Öhlins, which was also very good. Unfortunately the rain followed us from Jerez to Portimão, but to get some wet testing is also quite valuable, because during the season it can rain at any track we go to. Riding in the rain also helped us to tackle some of the problems we have in the dry. It is actually easier to get a feeling for the problems and to see them on the telemetry, because everything happens a bit slower, so the actual problem is a lot clearer.”
“We made good progress,” said Leon Haslam. “In Portimão we did not have any dry time, but on Monday I was quickest in the wet in the morning and quickest on the drying track in the afternoon. On the last day, we were down to the times where we should be. However, we were not even pushing to get a fast run, but we were just looking to improve the bike in a few different areas. It would have been nice if it had been dry, so we could have made even more progress, but I am happy.”
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport used the five days to work on the suspension and the engine of the BMW S1000RR and tested several new chassis parts and adjustments. Troy and Leon both also tried a new Öhlins front fork, which was initially developed for MotoGP, new brakes and geometry changes.
The team is quite satisfied with the progress made at these final tests of the year. At Jerez especially on the dry Thursday it was possible to make big improvements to the chassis. Some improvements were made with the engine but because of the bad weather the progress in this area was not as big as the team had hoped for. The team was able to focus on rideability in the wet, however.
In Portimão, BMW Motorrad Italia SBK rider James Toseland had his first roll-out with the BMW S1000RR. Now work continues back home at the facilities in Munich and Stephanskirchen (GER). The next winter test will take place at the end of January at Eastern Creek and then Phillip Island (AUS).
“I celebrated my 39th birthday during the tests,” said Troy Corser, “but I have to say I do not feel older than I did when I was 30. I am looking forward to next year, to being successful and possibly becoming the oldest champion. I will now spend a lot of time back home in Australia and will work on my fitness with my trainer Ko. We plan to do an intensive program, because I really want to do improve my fitness even more.”
Leon Haslam added, “In the next weeks I have a lot to do. I will first visit the motorcycle show in Birmingham, and then receive some awards. On 12th December I will go to Sweden — where I and my fiancée, Olivia, will get married on the 15th! After Christmas we will go on honeymoon to Borneo, and then we already have the next tests in Australia. I am looking forward to a few weeks off now and to recharge my batteries for the New Year.”