Troy Corser is being forced to take things easy a week before the opening round of the World Superbike Championship after being struck by a bird at 230kph during testing at Phillip Island.
The Australian was lapping the seaside circuit when a plover took flight just as Corser was riding past at high-speed, striking his left bicep and knocking is hand off the handlebars.
Remarkably, Corser was able to maintain control of the BMW S1000RR with just his right hand, before bringing the bike to a halt in the pit lane shortly afterwards.
With a swollen arm, Corser was advised to sit out the remainder of the session and focus on getting ready for the opening round of the season later this week.
“That was a very scary moment I can tell you,” he said. “I saw the bird on the track and moved inside to avoid it, but it flew up at the last moment - straight into my left bicep. Hitting a one kilo or so bird at over 230 kph is no joke and my left hand was forced from the handlebar and I had to control the bike with just my right hand! I'm not sure how I managed it, but somehow I did and was able to get the bike back to the pits.
“The left bicep was already swollen so I paid a trip to the doctors and was told not to get on the bike again and rest the arm as much as possible.”
Up to that point, Corser had been lapping well aboard the BMW, which was making its first public outing complete with race livery. Getting to within a second of the leading pace, Corser describes the bike as being just as good as anything he has sampled before.
“It was a pity, because we had quite a bit more to test and were not able to do so. But, we did manage a lot of stuff and I feel very comfortable on the bike. The S 1000 RR feels as good round Phillip Island as any other bike I've ridden round here.
“I'm not bothered at all about other people's lap times. I know what I can do on race rubber and I know that laps in a long race are very different to setting one-off quick laps. We are progressing and although there is a lot of work to be done, everybody is fired up, working hard and determined to do the very best they can. Let's see what happens next week now.”