Wollongong’s Troy Corser is hitting all his targets as he begins the final countdown to his 15th year of Superbike World Championship competition.
Corser, 39, has not only upped his pre-season training program to prepare for another gruelling campaign, but he now believes his factory BMW has improved to such a degree that a third world title is firmly in his sights.
“I really have stepped up my training earlier than usual, and it’s already made a huge difference to my mental and physical state,” said Corser, who this week tested at Sydney’s Eastern Creek Raceway alongside new British teammate Leon Haslam.
The team has bypassed an official WSBK test session at Portimao in Portugal to go it alone in Australia.
“I know I haven’t got too many seasons left at the highest level, so I am really motivated to make the most of the next few years,” Corser added.
“And I love racing more than ever, so the enthusiasm to perform at the peak of my powers is still as strong as ever.”
In sweltering conditions, Corser had recorded a best lap of 1:30.6 around Eastern Creek after day two of the scheduled three-day test.
But it’s been his ability to reel off consistently fast laps which has left him in a positive frame of mind.
“The biggest issue in 2010 was that I just couldn’t make the tyres last, and after 10-12 laps they’d be shot,” said Corser.
“But at Eastern Creek I have been managing to get a full race distance on them, which is a reflection of just how well we have got the chassis and electronics performing.
“And what’s also pleasing is how well we have got the bike functioning over bumps without losing stability and grip. And this is only the first ‘dry’ test on the 2011 race bike. To be so close to the money at this stage of proceedings is very encouraging.”
Corser believes the addition of Haslam will only lift BMW to greater heights in 2011.
“We not only speak the same language, but we have similar personalities and give similar feedback,” said Corser.
“He’s not only an experienced rider, but as the reigning world number two he’s going to bring a lot of fresh input into the team so we can move forward even quicker with development.
“I reckon both of us should be on the box regularly sooner rather than later.
“But, yet again, winning the championship is going to be all about consistency, especially as most of the bikes are now performing at a fairly even level.
“To be fighting for the championship, I am going to have to be scoring points in every race and be in the top five. It’s as simple as that.”
Corser’s two world Superbike titles came in 1996 and 2005, and he’ll be hoping to replicate the performance of his countryman Troy Bayliss to make it number three.
At 39, Bayliss won his third and final title in 2008, and then retired at the top of his game. Corser turns 40 in November this year.
“I have already had a long and successful career, but it would be great to add another one to the CV,” said Corser. “Of course, there are going to be 20 riders chasing the same thing, but I couldn’t be happier with my preparation at this stage of the year.”
Following proceedings at Eastern Creek, the BMW squad will head to Phillip Island next week, and then return to the Victorian circuit for an official WSBK two-day test on 21-22 February.
The 2011 championship commences at Phillip Island from 25-27 February. Tickets available on www.worldsbk.com.au.