News 31 May 2009

WSBK: BMW riders miss Superpole for the first time in Miller

BMW Motorrad PR:

Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider Troy Corser missed out on getting into Superpole qualifying at Miller Motorsport Park today by just two thousandths of a second. After yesterday’s difficulties Troy and Ruben both knew that today would be a hard day and that making Superpole itself would be a tough ask.

But both Troy and Ruben muscled their way round the 4.96 kilometre circuit as best they could and had it not been for a red flag right at the end of today’s final qualifying session they would have made Superpole. There were less than three minutes on the clock remaining when all the riders went out to complete final qualifying , but not enough time for Troy and Ruben to lap any quicker.

American Ben Spies (Yamaha) took his seventh pole of the season to go into the record books with the most consecutive pole positions. Second was last year’s Miller double winner Carlos Checa (Honda), with Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) third and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) fourth.

Troy – 21st, 1:50.793
Of course I am disappointed not to make Superpole – the first time this season – and it feels bad to miss out by such a small margin, but that’s how it goes sometimes.  At the moment, the team and I are a bit of a loss to understand exactly what is going on with the bike here. Every track is new for us and poses problems, but for some reason, it seems to be a bit worse here than other tracks.

Maybe it’s because this track has a lot of fast entry and exit corners and we haven’t been able to get our bike dialled in for this kind of situation yet. I rode my number two bike in the afternoon and although the set-up was different, the feeling was more or less the same. At the moment, we’re struggling to get the bike round the track, but we’ll have another look at all the data this evening and see if we can make some improvements in the morning warm up.

Ruben – 24th, 1:51.166
I have no doubt that we are all working hard and I am proud of what me and my team are doing. We know our present limitations and we have to work hard at getting the best we can. When I lean the bike over at the maximum lean angle I am getting some chatter, so we will make some changes to the bike and I will adapt my style and try not to lean over so much. I think Troy and I are both in the same situation, but don’t worry we are not giving up. The positive side of my grid position is that I am so far back I do not have to worry about anybody hitting me from behind – except the safety car!

Berti Hauser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director)
The reason for not getting into Superpole is that we have not been able to get the bike to use the tyres in the proper manner. The softest tyre we have to use to get good lap times is still too hard for us to get sufficient grip to push for the faster lap times – that last tenth of a second which would make a big difference.  When you look at the softest tyre we use here, after ten laps or so it looks like the tyre is brand new and that is not normal.

Not making Superpole is a hard surprise for us, but it’s important that we understand what we need to do, as others have. We have to find a solution to use the available tyres well and find good grip with them. With this bike and tyre at this particular track, in these conditions, and especially when the gap between 3rd and 20th place is so small, we just have to be faster. The red flag caused by Haga in final qualifying was a bit of bad luck for us, but we should not have been in a difficult position at that stage and so we will have to do better in the future. We have to find the key to this bike, but I am positive that we will do this and improve.