Troy Corser fears that the stop-go nature of the 'new' Assen layout will punish the present characteristics of his BMW S1000RR.
The double World Superbike champion's best finish from the first three rounds of the years remains an eighth place at the Phillip Island season-opener, and the Australian will need to crack the new Superpole format to stand a chance of beating that position on Sunday.
“Assen used to be a real 'riders' track, but it is not the same anymore,” said Corser. “It's not bad track, but it just doesn't flow like it used to and that could be a bit of a problem for us.
“At the present stage of the bike's development, it seems that the bike is working better at tracks that flow, instead of stop/start circuits. Obviously, we are working very hard on getting the bike good at all types of tracks, but it just takes time and laps.
“We're getting there for sure and, if we can get a good Superpole and start from near the front end of the grid, I'm sure we can improve our results,” he added.
Team-mate Ruben Xaus is 17th in the standings, six points and two places behind Corser. Despite the lack of prior data, the Spaniard is hoping to hit the round running.
“The old Assen was good and I don't think there was a single rider who did not like it. The new Assen is not so bad, but it has lost some of its character,” he began. “Of course, it is the same for all of us, but our job is going to be that much harder because we are arriving at Assen with no data or telemetry to work with on this bike at this track.
“My plan is to get down to it as soon as I can and try and avoid my 'black Fridays'. I need to be further up the grid and not have so much work to do during the races just trying to catch the leaders. The S 1000 RR is fantastic, but I don't think we have seen its potential yet. That day is going to come and I don't think it is so far away.”
“All the basics we learned throughout the first three rounds brought a lot of new knowledge and information as well as some surprises - such is the reality of competing in a hard-fought championship,” stated BMW Motorrad Motorsport director Berti Hauser.
“The pure ranking itself does not show the real potential of our bike. Looking at the second qualifying in Valencia, where the first 20 positions were within one second, it shows what is really going on there. Troy´s was just 0.14 sec and Ruben 0.7 sec behind the fastest lap time of this particular session. Actually, that´s where we are standing.
“No doubt, we have to keep pushing hard to improve the whole system in order to achieve better positions. This includes getting more familiar with the new Superpole system, to get more used to the specific characters of the Pirelli tires and to improve also the whole system of the bike step by step.”