Leon Haslam is certain BMW will develop into a race-winning World Superbike manufacturer shortly having made good strides during the opening two weekends of the 2011 season.
The Briton finished second in the 2010 standings with Suzuki, but switched to BMW following the Japanese manufacturer's decision to scale down its WSBK efforts for 2011.
Joining a team on the ascendency in what remains only its third season of international Superbike racing, Haslam has already show flashes of pace on the S1000RR by scoring a third place finish on his debut aboard the bike in Australia and qualifying second at Donington Park.
Though he is aware the bike is still not quite quick enough to challenge for race wins, he says the rate of development is more rapid than that of BMW's rivals, suggesting there is still much more to come from an already 'promising' package.
“Where we are with the BMW is that it is only their third year in racing and we have a really good base that shows potential,” he told Crash.net
. “I signed with BMW to win races from the off and we are getting close. The most exciting for me is that in two or three rounds time it is going to be even better. We have something to look forward to, that is the biggest thing for me.
“I signed for BMW to win it this year, but when you move into a new team it is difficult. In the last three seasons I've been with three manufacturers, but to get on the podium in Australia showed the promise.
“It's all about progression. I feel I am riding well and getting the most out of the bike. With the Suzuki, I felt we got the most out of it and that was good enough for second. Even though we lost the championship, I was happy we got the best from the package.
“At the moment, the BMW has potential and it is going to take time to get the most out of it, but I think when we do we will be winning. If we can win races, then no matter where that puts me in the championship I will be happy.”
Haslam is currently classified third in the WSBK standings, the highest a BMW rider has been in the overall standings since entering the sport in 2009.