Troy Corser claims he is lapping quicker than he expected to be as he brought BMW's first World Superbike group test to a close with a time just over a second from the ultimate pace.
Although Corser and team-mate Ruben Xaus shook the S1000RR down at Valencia last month, this was the first time the bike has gone up against its rivals.
Nonetheless, while BMW were consistently the slowest of the six manufacturer teams present, Corser reveals they weren't in Kyalami to impress with their lap times. Instead, they spent time understanding the bike's infrastructure, a decision that meant they didn't use any electronic aids throughout the three-day test.
It means that while Corser admits the test was hard work, he was nonetheless pleased that BMW's pace is already better at this stage than he was expecting.
“I am reasonably happy with what we achieved these three days because I always knew it wasn't going to be easy. In fact, the times we did were a bit better than I thought they would be.
“We weren't chasing lap times here because we wanted to get to understand the bike first and that's why we also didn't use any electronic aids, like traction control for example. It was really hot today and the track temperature hit 57 C and when it is that hot it is almost impossible to go faster.”
Although a fall on the final day meant it wasn't a seamless test for the former champion, Corser was at least satisfied to see BMW making steady improvements every time he went out on track.
“I had a small get-off today, up at Wesbank corner, when the front just went away from me going into the turn. We had put some stronger springs in the front shock and that helped on the brakes. It made the bike a little higher and the feeling was better, but then I lost the front end without warning and that was that. It was just a small slip and I didn't hurt myself at all.
“We've improved steadily over these three days and that's all one can ask for realistically. The team are all working well together and the mechanics and technicians now have a lot of data and info to think about for the next test in January next year.”