BMW's decision to skip the first group World Superbike test of the season at Portimao in favour of a week at Eastern Creek appears to have been justified by the vastly better weather conditions.

The German manufacturer travelled to the Australian venue in an effort to get itself well prepared for the new season, which will take place in the same country at Phillip Island later this month.

Though it means the team hasn't yet measured itself against its rivals, the poor weather conditions in Portugal - compared to consistently warm temperatures at Eastern Creek - enabled them to complete an impressive 1,453km of testing.

In terms of lap times, Troy Corser was quicker than team-mate Leon Haslam, the pair managing a 1min 29.5secs and 1min 30.5secs respectively.

"We mainly worked on the electronics, just trying to dial it in," Haslam, who was lapping the circuit for the first time, said. "We also focused on setting up the chassis to get a base set-up, because in the hot conditions the bike behaves very differently. We had a few issues but we are making progress with the bike. Certainly you always want to go faster and make things happen quicker. But we got in a lot of testing, which is good, and are definitely improving.

"I am very confident the team will give 100 per cent and that it should be good. I am just looking forward to the next test in Phillip Island. This is a track where we also race, so we know what lap times we should be doing. It will definitely be a good guideline for us."

BMW will now travel to Phillip Island for a private test this week, before rejoining its rivals for an official outing around the same circuit later this month. The first round of the season will begin a week later on 25th February.

"I am pretty happy with the progress that we made on my bike. We worked on electronics, traction and rear wheel activation. In all areas we made some good steps. I also tried some chassis, geometry and fork setting.

"We concentrated on these areas to give us some information and to understand what we need to do if we get the same situation. The lap times got better and better as we improved the bike and the better the circuit became. The lap time we got to quite comfortably is very good for this track."



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