News 28 Sep 2009

WSBK: Frustrating Imola race day for BMW's Corser in Italy


It was a day of mixed fortunes for BMW Motorrad Motorsport at Imola today, with Ruben posting superb top thirteen positions on his comeback after injury and Troy suffering brake problems which saw him in eleventh place in race one and a DNF in race two. The weekend had started badly for all teams, when the first practice was abandoned due to a very slippery track and everybody lost valuable track time. Ruben soon settled into a groove with the new spec engine in his S 1000 RR, but then had to learn about the new changes and how they affected the bike. Despite this, and having to start from the fifth row of the grid, he rode his heart out to finish 12th in race one and 13th in race two. Race two’s result would have been even better were it not for Ruben having to take to the dirt after having to avoid hitting Fonsi Nieto in one of the chicanes. He rejoined the track, but lost four or five seconds in the process.

In race one, Troy made a good start and was in fifth place after three laps, but then began to suffer with brake problems. He kept going as best he could, but dropped down the order and ended 11th. Brembo technicians changed the brake system for race two, but the problem was worse, not better, and Troy was forced to pull out after just four laps.

Ducati riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio dominated Imola (their home track) today, with Haga taking the win in race one, with Max Biaggi (Aprilia) second and Fabrizio third. Race two was won by Fabrizio, with Haga second and Marco Simoncelli (Aprilia) third.

Troy – Race 1: 11th, Race 2: DNF
Today was very frustrating for me and the team because we had all expected more. Practice had gone well and our times on race tyres would’ve meant top seven or eight finishes for sure. In race one, the brakes started giving problems after about six laps and I was going about 20 kms faster into the turns than I wanted to whilst using much, much more brake pressure. I tried to keep out of trouble and not cause any problems to the other riders and try and keep going as best I could. In the end, I was lucky to finish 11th. Brembo and the team changed the brake system for race two, but this time the problem was worse and maybe air had ingressed. After running off the track a few times and nearly crashing, I decided it would be safer to pull in. The last thing I wanted was to crash and take somebody else out, so withdrawing was the best, and only, option. Hopefully the problem will be sorted out and everything will be OK for Magny-Cours next weekend.

Ruben – Race 1: 12th, Race 2: 13th
I am so happy to be back with my team, because I have missed them all so much in the past few weeks. I couldn’t have raced here today if it had not been for all the tremendous work by BMW’s doctor Vicenzo and Dr Llobet and physio Ricard Huelamo in Spain. It’s a shame we lost time on Friday, because the new specification of my bike means that it is like learning a new machine for me, especially as I haven’t ridden for eight weeks. So, all in all, I am pretty happy with my performance today, but I think it could’ve been better if I hadn’t had to take to the dirt to avoid hitting Fonsi (Nieto) in the second race. At that point, I was chasing a top-ten place, but things like this happen in racing. Now, I am looking forward to Magny-Cours next weekend and getting to know my ‘new’ bike better.

Berti Hauser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director)
A day of mixed feelings for us, but we must be happy because Ruben is back and, although he is not 100%, he showed his eagerness and ability to fight. To finish 12th and 13th after starting from 19th on the grid is a very good achievement. What can I say about Troy? There will be an investigation by our brake suppliers and hopefully they will find out what went wrong. We all felt that Troy could’ve finished in the top seven or eight for sure, so to have this result is very disappointing. Sometimes racing is like this and we have to put aside the problems and concentrate on the positives. Our bike is improving and the next step is not far away, so I hope that there will be no problems in Magny-Cours and we can get the results we feel we deserve.