Ruben Xaus predicts BMW can become a considerable force in World Superbike racing over the next few years as they continue to ready themselves for their first season in the championship with the S1000RR.
BMW are one of two new manufacturers entering the series in 2009, but while fellow newcomers Aprilia have enjoyed credits in WSBK and MotoGP in the past, the German company is a complete novice at this level.
However, as one of the biggest and most successful two and four-wheel brand's in the world, BMW are expected to get up to speed quickly, not least because they have signed two of the most experienced and successful riders on the grid, Ruben Xaus and Troy Corser, for their maiden campaign.
The bike has already undergone a series of tests over the last few months, even if Xaus and Corser only got to trial it a few weeks ago.
Nonetheless, first impressions were favourable for Xaus, who believes BMW have created a good base from which to work on. Even so, he was not willing to predict where the team will be on the grid come the first round in Australia next year.
"BMW in WSB next year will be very interesting for everyone because it is a big factory and they have big potential to produce a really good bike,” he said. “The new bike has been born from nothing; we have no data base from 2008, so it is different for us. But having ridden it in Valencia the base is, really, in a good place.
“We have a lot to do still with the electronics systems and mapping, but that is something for the technicians more than the riders. As a rider I can say the chassis is good, the bike is good, agility, handling and everything is really nice.
“It is also comfortable to ride and I am happy about it. We have no goals right away. My team-mate Troy is good so all of this together can be a very positive package."
Indeed, the sheer scale of BMW leads Xaus to believe they will be successful in Superbike racing, the Spaniard pointing to their emergence as race win contenders in Formula 1 since entering as a full manufacturer in 2006 as a case point.
"A brand like BMW, based in Europe, is a very serious, strict company. I like this mentality. As a rider, I always give 100% and I know that I have someone behind me that gives 100% too.
"BMW will show a lot in World Superbike because they have a good mentality, strong, and they have shown in Formula 1 that if they want to, they can."