Troy Corser has warned rivals that BMW are on course to make an impression on the World Superbike paddock this year after an encouraging pre-season test in Portugal.
After a low-profile group test debut in Kyalami before Christmas, the S1000RR proved to be a far more convincing package in Portimao, with Corser regularly featuring on the fringes of the top ten. By contrast, fellow newcomers Aprilia, who were comfortably quicker in South Africa, were considerably slower in comparison.
Indeed, Corser states a number of areas where the bike needs improvements, but after 'qualifying' sixth during the simulation of the new Superpole system, he admits he is surprised with the competitiveness of his lap times.
Furthermore, he points out that he is not yet comfortable on the bike and is looking forward to the time when BMW reach their full potential.
“The weather didn't help any of us during these three days and I'm guessing that we only got about two and a bit hours or so dry track time. Considering that, I think the tests weren't too bad for us and although there is still a lot of work to do, we are continuing to make good progress and learn more every time we go out. We did manage to test some stuff we didn't have time for in the last tests, specifically different links and different geometry settings.
“I'm happy now with the clutch and now we need to work on smoothening out the throttle response. I feel that the bike is powerful and that's a good feeling to have at this stage. Once we harness that power and smooth out a few things, we can exploit the bike's potential.
“I don't know how soon or how long that's going to be, but everybody is working hard and we should have an indication of our rate of progress in our next tests. Hopefully the weather will be good and we will get a lot more dry track time.
“Considering I'm not completely comfortable on the bike, I'm pretty surprised how good my lap times are. If I can do these times, whilst not being completely comfortable, just think what I might be able to do when I am!"