While much of the World Superbike field is suffering in inclement weather in Portugal, the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team was sweating Down Under.Australian Troy Corser and Brit Leon Haslam took advantage of the Australian summer to prepare for the 2011 World Superbike Championship with three days of testing at Eastern Creek just outside of Sydney.With air temperatures at 104F and track temperatures at 140F for the first two days, and more moderate today, the team completed over 900 miles on the circuit that once hosted the Australian Grand Prix.The team worked on chassis adjustment and engine mapping, with good progress. Corser, who last rode here in a national meeting in 1993, set an unofficial lap record of 1:29.5 The previous record of 1:30.360 was set by Repsol Honda’s Alex Criville at the Australian GP in 1996.
The Superbike record of 1:31.655 is held by Jamie Stauffer (Kawasaki) from a domestic race meeting in 2006. Haslam’s best lap was a 1:30.5.”I am pretty happy with the progress that we made on my bike,” Corser said. “We worked on electronics, traction and rear wheel activation. In all areas we made some good steps. I also tried some chassis, geometry and fork setting. We concentrated on these areas to give us some information and to understand what we need to do if we get the same situation. The lap times got better and better as we improved the bike and the better the circuit became. The lap time we got to quite comfortably is very good for this track.”I think with what we have learned here we are now very well prepared for the test next week, regarding the set-up of the bike. It was nice to come back to Eastern Creek. The last time I was here was 18 years ago, in 1993. It was a good experience to ride on the superbike here.”Haslam continues to adapt to the BMW after making the move from Suzuki at the end of last season.”We mainly worked on the electronics, just trying to dial it in,” he said. “We also focused on setting up the chassis to get a base set-up, because in the hot conditions the bike behaves very differently. We had a few issues, but we are making progress with the bike. Certainly you always want to go faster and make things happen quicker. But we got in a lot of testing, which is good, and are definitely improving. I am very confident the team will give 100% and that it should be good.”I am just looking forward to the next test in Phillip Island. This is a track where we also race, so we know what lap times we should be doing. It will definitely be a good guideline for us. And then I cannot wait until the season starts. Testing is one thing but racing is another. All you want to do is go out there and race. It is not long to wait, just one more month. Also physically I feel very good and I have my trainer coming over to Australia for a couple of weeks more before the race.”
The team will stay in Australia to continue testing at Phillip Island on February 2-3, site of the February 25-27 opening round of the championship.