BMW has put together what it calls its 'dream team' for the 2009 World Superbike Championship, after officially revealing that it has signed double title-winner Troy Corser to compete for the squad next season.
The news confirms what was predicted by Crash.net
more than two months ago [see separate story – click here
], with the Australian set to join Spaniard Ruben Xaus on the riding front for the German manufacturer's new entry into the series.
Current Yamaha Motor Italia star Corser's anticipated deal with BMW Motorrad is for two years, and today's announcement ends months of speculation as to who would partner Xaus aboard the all-new BMW S1000RR when the Bavarian marque makes its WSBK bow.
The experience and development expertise of the 36-year-old - Corser was the first rider to win the WSBK crown with both twin (1996) and four cylinder (2005) machinery, and also holds an all time record of 42 pole positions from his 301 starts - will be a significant boon to BMW as it bids to find its feet in one of the most hotly-fought championships in the world.
"With Troy and Ruben, I feel confident we will have the best riders possible for our start in the World Superbike Championship," underlined BMW executive vice-president of development and model lines, Peter Mueller.
"Troy has unrivalled experience in the series and that, together with Ruben's exuberance, is our 'dream team' and the combination we wanted, right from the start of this project. I feel sure that their knowledge of the series will definitely help us become competitive very quickly.
"I am delighted that Troy is joining our team," echoed Berti Hauser, director of BMW Motorrad Motorsport, "and that our jigsaw is now complete. He was in our minds from the start and I am very happy, because I believe he and Ruben are the best combination of riders for our new challenge.
"Troy has told me that he is excited about helping us develop the bike and being part of the project from the start. He also said that he would like to be the first rider in WSBK history to win the title with three different manufacturers, and that he is physically and mentally ready make that his target."
Although yet to win a race during almost two seasons on an R1, Corser still has 33 WSBK wins to his credit - claimed on Ducati, Aprilia and Suzuki machinery. Corser also took the under-powered Foggy Petronas FP1 to a best finish of second and two pole positions.
With Corser's current Yamaha team-mate Noriyuki Haga set to move to Ducati Xerox in 2009, Ben Spies is the latest name to be placed next to Tom Sykes next season. However, MotoGP rider Sylvain Guintoli tested a Yamaha Italia R1 earlier this week...