Things are heating up ahead of Sundays two part race in Valencia, Spain. BMW Motorrad’s progress with the S1000RR has been constant and steady since they entered competition in World Super Bike last year. Many have hoped for race wins and pole positions, but these results are not achieved easily in a series with so many entrenched champions.
Starting from 5th place Troy Corser is in great shape to pounce on the race leaders. Superbike racing is a series where the race order is very unstable and passing multiple bikes in one lap is commonplace. Troy’s second row start (there are four bikes per row lined up on the starting grid) is the best qualifying position for BMW Motorrad’s outfit to date.
How did Ruben Xaus fare? Unfortunately, Xaus was caught out in Superpole 1 where he ran out of time to improve his pace (WSBK qualifying is based upon a 3 part elimination process much like qualifying in F1. Since Xaus could not post a fast enough time to proceed to the next session, he was “locked” with is result). Ruben Xaus starts tomorrow’s races from 17th position where he hopes to fight for top 10 finishes.
To what do we owe this second row performance? Well, primarily to electronics upgrades for the S1000RR, mainly around its traction control. It looked like the S1000RR finally made the most of the qualifying spec tires – something the team has been struggling with since the first race of the season.
On a side note, Team REITWAGEN BMW secured 19th and dead-last 25th places for tomorrows race on their private entry S1000RRs.
Team Manager, Davide Tardozzi had this to say after qualifying in Valencia: “It’s the best position on the grid this year for BMW, and we only just missed the first row by a tenth of a second which just shows how tight the racing is this year. But everyone can see that were are growing and growing with every weekend so I am happy for that. We will just have to wait and see what the races bring tomorrow, but I am confident”
Ultimately, software upgrades and better use of qualifying tires are largely responsible for today’s qualifying performance. The S1000RR’s pace has been improving incrementally for some time now and we can’t wait to see what Corser can do with his 5th place start in tomorrow’s two-part race.