Changing seats – WSBK season preview.

Indeed, Corser had an excellent chance to rectify the situation in 2009, particularly with Bayliss retiring and his most obvious rivals switching teams, but he has instead opted for a new challenge with the German manufacturer.

No doubt motivated by the opportunity to turn one of the world's best known brands into a winner on two-wheels, Corser's reputation for developing burgeoning projects always made him an obvious choice for BMW.

With the right amount of money and the right people behind them, few doubt that BMW will be a successful at some point, although it isn't so clear as to when that will be.

Nonetheless, Corser has shown flashes of promise during testing and the S1000RR seems to be developing at a quicker pace than any of its rivals.

So, while there may be unanswered questions about the bike, there is nothing uncertain about Corser - he is capable of turning BMW into a podium contender at some point this year and his consistent form should continue to pay off in the final standings.

Ruben Xaus – BMW

It is occasionally easy to forget Ruben Xaus' success rate in the World Superbike Championship.

With 11 race wins to his name, Xaus is the third most coveted rider to compete in this year's series, although he hasn't raced on a factory supported bike for five seasons now.

Nonetheless, that is all set to change in 2009 having been snapped up by BMW to join Troy Corser in forming the most successful rider partnership (on paper) of any other team.

It's a big break for Xaus, who showed flashes of brilliance in 2008 - particularly at the start of the year - although it was undermined by a series of disappointing performances that saw him end the season with more of a whimper than a bang.

A long-time Ducati rider, Xaus can hide behind the fact he is developing a completely new bike for 2009, although that only works so long as he can keep up with Corser, which he so far hasn't during testing.

Indeed, Xaus has been consistently the slowest factory backed rider through the off-season, with Corser stretching the chasm between them with every outing.

Related Pictures

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