BMW come away from the sixth round of the World Superbike Championship with no points to their name for the first time this season after a disastrous weekend in South Africa.
Returning to the circuit where they made their first group test debut several months ago, BMW arrived at Kyalami with a revised rider line-up, after test rider Steve Martin was called upon to join Ruben Xaus as a replacement for Troy Corser.
Keen to display the progress BMW have made since they last visited the circuit, Xaus was on the cusp of the top ten through free practice and qualifying, but traffic in Superpole would leave him 15th on the grid.
Nonetheless, Xaus' weekend would take a turn for the worse come race day when he crashed in the early stages on both occasions, the Spaniard suspecting Jakub Smrz was responsible for each accident. In total, he completed just three race laps.
“There's not much to say when you have only done three laps in two races and I am disappointed for myself and the whole team because we had the potential to get goods results today. I am a bit angry because I know I did a good job this weekend and it's not good getting nothing back.
“In race one I think I was nudged off by Smrz and I have got a funny feeling that he was also involved in the race two crash as well. In that race, I was just going into the last turn and suddenly my bike shot out from under me.
“I am not sure exactly what happened, but it was crash number two and a big shame because the bike is improving and I'm sure I could've got a couple of top ten finishes.”
Experienced WSBK rider Martin, meanwhile, found it difficult to get comfortable on the S1000RR, despite being one of only a handful of people to be racing at Kyalami when it last visited seven years ago.
Finishing towards the back in each race, Martin was pleased for the opportunity to ride, but less so with the actual results.
“It has been a great honour to be on the S 1000 RR this weekend. I never expected to race at the top level in WSBK again but I am very grateful to get the chance. My job this weekend was not to be Troy (Corser), but to try things the team do not normally get the chance to try during a race weekend and give us much info and feedback as possible.
“The team gave me 100 per cent this weekend and helped me really enjoy the whole experience. Of course, I am not happy with the results, but I'm happy to be on the track in a WSBK race and happy to help the team.”