Troy Corser will fight a lone Aussie hand when the 2010 Superbike World Championship resumes at the Nürburgring in Germany this weekend.
With Queenslander Chris Vermeulen already a scratching for the remainder of the season with a knee injury, Broc Parkes has now joined him on the sidelines after parting company with his privateer Honda team.
That leaves Corser as the sole bearer of antipodean pride in the premier class, and he’s confident that his factory BMW will strike up a real rapport with the historic 5.137-kilometre circuit.
“I really like the Nürburgring,” said Corser. “In the past I’ve regularly had good results here, including several podium finishes and a race win. I think the circuit will suit the engine and chassis of our bike. Our aim for Friday practice is to settle on a good set-up. If we can do that, then anything is possible this weekend.
“The Nürburgring is a great race track and the perfect venue for motorcycle racing. There are plenty of overtaking opportunities and lots of rises and falls, which generally produces
really exciting and spectacular racing – both for us as riders and for the spectators.
Corser is still searching for an elusive maiden win on the BMW, and has already been to the brink in 2010 with a couple of podium finishes.
Last year Corser finished eighth and sixth at Nurburgring, but there wasn’t a massive gulf between him and the two winners, Ben Spies and Jonathan Rea.
Corser’s currently 10th in the championship, but a stirring final three rounds could still see him finish in the top six, which would provide a strong platform for the 2011 campaign, which is again slated for a Phillip Island kick-off next February.
Italy’s Max Biaggi (Aprilia) takes a commanding 60-point championship lead over Briton Leon Haslam (Suzuki) into Nurburgring, and another dominant performance could see him become champion-designate in a home town crowning at Monza on 24-26 September.
Biaggi has seized every opportunity in 2010, with an excellent strike rate of nine wins from 12 podiums.
Haslam has also marked his territory with a string of excellent performances, but he knows that Nurburgring is crunch time if he is to make a dent into Biaggi’s huge lead.
Over the last four rounds, only Jonathan Rea (Honda) and Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) have joined Biaggi on the winners’ list, with Crutchlow scoring a dominant double in the last round at Silverstone.
Meanwhile, Rea is also the lap record holder at Nurburgring, while the usual roll call of stars will be in the thick of it, including Carlos Checa (Ducati), James Toseland (Yamaha) and factory Ducati pair Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio.
In World Supersport, Parkes hasn’t had to wait too long to find alternative employment, and will deputise for the injured Kawasaki rider Joan Lascorz in the final three rounds of the championship.
And the Aussie is no World Supersport upstart. The Newcastle rider has 23 World Supersport podiums to his credit, including five race wins, and was runner-up in the championship in 2004 and 2007.
With that pedigree, Parkes could play a huge say on whether Kenan Sofuoglu or Eugene Laverty will win this year’s championship. Sofuoglu currently leads Laverty by 17 points.