8. Troy Corser

Following a steady, if not spectacular, maiden season in 2009, BMW gave firm evidence in 2010 that it is not investing in the World Superbike Championship to merely make up the numbers.

Indeed, as average as its pre-season testing pace had been, BMW came out fighting when it mattered by showing flashes of excellence in 2010, particularly in the hands of lead rider Troy Corser.

Signed by the German manufacturer for his developmental nous, Corser proved he can still temper that with impressive speed as he engineered several BMW landmarks this year.

Often excelling during qualifying, Corser started from the front row and led both races at Assen, before finally breaking BMW's podium duck - ironically from a mid-field starting position - with a third place finish at Monza.

A dominant pole position at Misano was followed by another podium result, while an unbroken run of good finishes meant Corser was in contention for top five finish in the overall standings at the mid-way stage in the season.

However, things took a turn for the worse when Corser crashed during practice at Brno, forcing him to withdraw from the event. When he did return, the results weren't quite as impressive, Corser ending his year with a best finish of just tenth from the final ten races.

Leaving him 11th in the standings, while the performance on track was better than the results on paper, Corser should have been celebrating his and BMW's first overall top ten finish overall.

Indeed, a lack of longevity was a key drawback for Corser in 2010, because while we got used to seeing a BMW at the front of the field at the start of the races, the Australian would often fade during the latter stages.

Some will argue the rider was the reason for this, some will suggest the bike isn't quite fully competitive yet, but in Corser and BMW's defence, this season proved that BMW is well on the right track to get itself amongst the likes of Aprilia, Ducati, Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha in becoming a Superbike superpower.

Statistics:

Team: BMW Motorrad Bike: BMW S1000RR

Championship position: 11th Points: 165

Race starts: 24 Pole positions: 1 Victories: 0 Podiums: 2 Best results: 3rd (Monza, Misano) Points finishes: 20

Crash.net's WSBK Top 10

8. Troy Corser
9. Noriyuki Haga
10. Sylvain Guintoli

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