The 22nd edition of the Superbike World Championship begins in just a few weeks time at Phillip Island in Australia and the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team has now completed a successful pre-season testing schedule with the S 1000 RR superbike.  Recent tests have taken place at the Portuguese circuit of Portimao and at Valencia in Spain. In Portugal, conditions throughout the three-day test were generally appalling and dry track time was very limited, but despite the tricky conditions, the team gained a lot of useful information and riders Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus continued to make good progress. The test also saw a try-out of the new Superpole procedure, in which three separate sessions are used to determine the grid positions. Troy finished eleventh fastest in the overall standings and sixth in Superpole, while Ruben ended 25th in both the general classification and Superpole. 

Following the Portugese test, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport had two days at the Circuit de la Communitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, where thanks to the commitment of both Troy and Ruben, and a tremendous all round effort, the team left the circuit happy and in a positive mood. Troy comfortably got into the low 1:36s, completing more than 150 laps, with Ruben improving strongly throughout to finish with a 1:36.5 after completing 106 laps – all on standard tyres. The team now has a better understanding of the task ahead and will be spending the next few weeks analysing the data in preparation for the first round of the season in Australia. Behind the scenes meanwhile, production of the BMW S 1000 RR serial machine is getting underway in Germany. 

This year’s Superbike World Championship has attracted a record number of entrants and no less than seven manufacturers will be involved, so the challenge to the team is a huge one. The team will be at a disadvantage this season because, unlike most or all of their competitors, they will not have any previous data with which to work with when they get to a track. Each circuit this year will present a new challenge and so Troy, Ruben and the team will have to try and get up to speed with their bike set-ups in record time at every one of the 14 rounds if they are to have a chance of a good result. This season is not just a ‘learning year’ because everybody involved is determined to do the very best they can and try and pull off a surprise or two.  Australia’s double World Superbike champion, Troy Corser and the Spaniard Ruben Xaus have been working closely with their team to ensure that their factory prepared BMW S 1000 RR Superbike will be ready for the season opener, which begins on 27 February. The occasion will bring with it a huge amount of interest and media coverage – both nationally and internationally– with the Australian fans being the first to see the new 4-cylinder machine in full race trim.  As a result BMW Motorrad Australia will host a Hospitality marquee for BMW owners, enthusiasts and special guests who will be able to gather trackside to mark this historic occasion. 

“BMW Motorrad’s debut in the 2009 Superbike World Championship is very exciting, not only for BMW but also for our BMW owners, enthusiasts and motorsport fans,” said Cameron Cuthill, General Manager for BMW Motorrad Australia. “Having a dedicated facility will really allow us to capture that unique passion and provide our guests with a complete experience. We are very fortunate, as not only do we have one of Australia’s best riders aboard the new superbike, but Phillip Island will also host the international debut of this amazing bike.”  For Corser, the chance to debut the all-new BMW S 1000 RR Superbike in front of his home fans is one that he will cherish for many years to come.  “All those who have been involved in the design and development of the BMW S 1000 RR have worked extremely hard and at this very early stage of its development everyone is very happy with the progress being made”, said Corser. “Being able to race the bike for the very first time in front of my home crowd and especially at a track like Phillip Island will be an honour. The team has a strong Australian feel about it as I have Tom Larson working with me as my Chief Engineer, so we’re both hoping to do well over the weekend.”